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[entered at stationers' hall.] 



(W. R. YoRKS.) 











Before Ibegan the preparation of this book, it had always been to me 
matter for surprise that the history of Skipton had continued so long 
unwritten. The annals of oui- ancient town being so remarkable, and 
the material so abundant, it seemed unaccountable that a History of 
Skipton was not in existence even before Dr. Whitaker gave to the 
world his inimitable History of the Antiquities of Graven. As a com2)re- 
hensive history of the district, that learned and laborious work will long- 
hold an undisputed position. But necessarily it fails to do adequate 
justice to individual places, and least of all does it meet the want 
of Craven's capital. It was the knowledge, therefore, that a separate 
and full History of Skipton was felt to be a real need which led to 
the undertaking of the present work. 

Moreover, since the time when Dr. Whitaker wrote, eighty years 
have run their course, and in that period the material available for topo- 
graphical works has greatly increased. It would, indeed, have been an 
act of presumption, to say the least, to have projected this work if I had 
been unable to record anything further regarding our town than has 
been before the reading world for eighty years. But in undertaking the 
present History, it was a very gi-atifyiug circumstance that I came 
across a large amount of what may be termed new information about 
Skipton, as well as about the many stining events, military and 
otherwise, of which it has been the scene in bygone years, and about 
those wotthy men and women who, issuing from this secluded district, 
have in various ways gained for themselves enduring fame and honour. 
My aim has throughout been to avoid, as much as might be, repetition of 
matter already well known, and to introduce facts and incidents with 




which only very few can be acquainted. It should here be stated that 
the second edition of Whitaker's Graven (1812) has been made the 
standard in case of reference. 

It would serve no good purpose to particularise here the many 
sources of information to which I have been led in the preparation 
of this History; and this is the less necessary as my authority is 
usually given in the case of matters of more than ordinary im- 
portance. I must, however, acknowledge great indebtedness for the 
permission I have had to go through the accumulation of MSS. 
belonging to Baron Hothfield, in Skipton Castle, and to consult the 
valuable Library at Eshton Hall, the residence of Sir Mathew Wilson, 
Bart., M.P. The invaluable aid obtained from the Castle Evidences 
will be best seen from the frequent reference made to them through- 
out this work. Nor must I omit to acknowledge the kindness and 
courtesy of other known and unknown friends. I would express my 
obligation, for suggestions and information, to Mr. R. H. Sidgwick, J. P., 
of Skipton; Mr. T. Brayshaw, of Settle, and others who are named 
hereafter ; while for the loan of engravings I have to thank Mr. 
J. Dodgson, of Leeds, the publisher of the third edition of Whitaker 
(pages 51, 79, 170, and 171) ; Mr. J. A. Busfeild, J.P., of Upwood, 
Bingley (page 211); Mr. W. Smith, F.S.A.S., of Morley (page 223), and 
Mr. W. Andrews, F.H.S., of HuU (pages 292 and 296.) Thanks are 
also due to a numerous body of subscribers, a list of whom is regretfully 
yet unavoidably excluded. 

To conclude. This book has not been written with the idea of 
satisfying any literary ambition. The project was conceived, and it has 
been carried into effect, with the single desire that my native town 
might have its history recorded in a form worthy of its importance 
and its fame ; and this is my only claim — that strict impartiality 
and honesty have guided the pen as it has run over every line 
and every page. Of the research and labour involved in this under- 
taking, I will only say that they have all along been a source of 
pure pleasure. 

W. H. D. 

Skipton, 1882. 



Chapter I. 

Chapter II. 

Chapter III. 



Chapter IV. 



Chapter V. 


Chapter VI, 



Chapter VII. 


The Scottish Incursions 

Battle OP Flodden Field 

The Pilgrimage op Grace 

The Rising in the North 

Three Years' Siege during the Civil War 
Scottish Rebellions of 1715 and 1745 ... 




Chapter VIII. 


The Church 

The Monuments 

The Vicars 

The Parish Registers 

Chapter IX. 

Chapter X. 

Henry Lord Clifford, the Shepherd Lord 

Canon William Ermtsted 

George Earl op Cumberland 

Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke 

Nathaniel Simpson 

William and Sylvester Petyt 

George Holmes 

John Wainman 

... 148 





Rev. George Croft, D.D 258 

Edward Burtenshaw Sugden, Lord St. Leonards 259 

Stephen Bailey Hall 262 

William Oldfield 262 

Richard Waller 263 

William Cartwright Newsam 264 

Chapter XI. 


Agriculture 267 

Manufactures 275 

Trades 282 

The "Plug Drawing" Riots op 1842 285 

Chapter XII. 

Chapter XIII. 


The Quakers 297 

The Wesley an Methodists 304 

The Congregation alists 309 

The Primitive Methodists 312 






The Roman Catholics 314 

The Episcopalians (Christ Church) 317 

The Baptists 322 

The Free Methodists 324 

The Inghamites 324 

Chapter XIV. 


Miscellaneous Benefactions 325 

The Free Grammar School 333 

Charities op Thomas Earl of Thanet 342 

The Petyt Library 346 

The Corn Charities of 1795 and 1812 350 

Chapter XV. 

Chapter XVI. 


Customs 373 

Superstitions 387 

Timothy Crowther, Astrologer and Wiseman 390 

INDEX 395-408 



Skipton in 1830 (Feontispieoe) 

Arms op Clifford 25 

Entrance Gateway op Skipton Castle 51 

Skipton Castle Gateway 77 

Conduit Court, Skipton Castle 79 

Skipton Parish Church 149 

Brass on Slab of Clifford Tomb in Skipton Parish Church ... 170 

Brass on Clifford Tomb in Skipton Parish Church 171 

Plan op Altar-tomb in Skipton Parish Church 174 

Epigraph on Carleton Hall Front 211 

Epitaph on Ferrand Brass in Beverley Minster 213 

Barden Tower 223 

Lady Anne Clifford 239 

Lady Anne Clifford's Signature 249 

Ancient Ducking Stool 292 

Riding the Stang 296 

Christ Church, Skipton 319 

Skipton Grammar School 337 



E can best conceive of the condition of Skijiton in Saxon days 
by deriving the name. Skipton is evidently sheep-town, 
from A.S. seep, and tun. " Tun " oi' town as we now under- 
stand the word may appear a presumptuous title to apply 
to the handful of herdsmen's huts which made up the Skipton of those 
early days. But we must bear in mind the original meaning of the 
affix. The tun or ton was a space of ground surrounded, for purposes 
of security, by a hedge, and it might comprise but several homesteads. 
''The English town," remarks one, "was in its beginning simply a 
piece of the general country, organised and governed precisely in the 
same manner as the townships aroiind it. Its existence witnessed, 
indeed, to the need which men felt in those early times of mutual help 
and protection. The hurli or borough was probably a more defensible 
place than the common village ; it may have had a ditch or mound 
about it instead of the quickset hedge or ' tun ' from which the town- 
ship took its name." 

Camden, the historian, goes far out of his way in deriving the word 
Skipton. He remarks : — " The river Are issuing from the root of the 
Mountain Pennigent (which is the highest in these parts) at first 
seeming doubtful whether it should run forwards into the Sea, or return 
into its Spring, is so winding and crooked that in travelling this way I 
had it to pass over seven times in half an hour upon a strait road. 
It's course is calm and (juiet, so easic that it hardly appears to flow ; 
and I am of opinion this has occasiou'd its name. For I have already 
observ'd that the British word ara signifies slow and easie ; and hence 
that slow river Araris in France takes its name. That part of the 
Country where the head of this river lyes is call'd Craven, possibly from 



the British word Crage, a rock ; for what with stones, steep rocks, and 
rough ways, this place is very wild and unsightly. In the very middle 
of which, and not far distant from the Are, stands Skipton, hid (as it 
were) with those steep precipices, lying qu.ite round ; j ust like Latium 
in Italy, which Varro thinks was really so call'd from its low situation 
under the Apennines, and the Alps." Regarding this far-fetched 
derivation Whitaker remarks that " Either this reference to Varro was 
impertinent, or Camden must be understood to mean that the verb 

* skip ' anciently meant ' to be hid,' which assuredly it never did. 
But in Domesday, and in all the early charters I have seen, the word 
is spelt Sciptone, Sceptone, or Scepetone ; evidently from the Saxon 

* seep,' a sheep. Skipton, therefore, is the Town of Sheep : a name 
which it must have acquii-ed from the vast tracts of sheep-walk which 
lay around it before the Norman lords appropriated the wastes of 
Crokeris and Elso to the range of deer." The word Skipton is spelt 
variously in old charters and documents. Among other forms are 
Scepton, Scepetone, Schipton, Scipeden, Scipton, Sciptone, Skipden, 
Scipdou, Skibeden, Skybeden, Skypton (the most modern). 

In the later Saxon times Skipton formed part of the inheritance of 
Earl Edwin, whose possessions were among the last to remain in the 
hands of their Saxon owners. At this time Bolton was a principal seat 
of Earl Edwin, and Skipton was still a mean, dependent village. The 
earl was son of Leofwine, and brother of Leofric, both Earls of Mercia. 
In an account of the manor of Malham, taken by Whitaker from the 
evidences of the Lambert family, the last Saxon lord is thus referred 
to : — " This erle Edwyn, long before the Conquest, was seazed of the 
man' of Bodleton, in demeyn, and all the soke y'to belongyng in s'vice ; 
and had in deniene and s'vice in Malghom p'cell of the same soke a 
carue and an halfe londe and an oxgange, and was a man'r. For at 
thos days all lordships and man's was geven and t'nslate de uno in aliu' 
by the name of Cai-ues, Hides, Yerdes, Knyghtes' Fees, or such like. 
The same erle contynued his possession in the seid man' of Bolton cu' 
soka in the day of the Conquest, and fyve yeres aft'; the which fift 
yere he fled the courte of Will'm Conqueror, and in going to Scotland 
was slayn by the way, and his brother' Morcarus, erle of Northumber- 
lande, and the bishop of Doreham fled into the He of Ely, and was 
y'r takyn, and Morcarus was comyt to y^ Toure, and y' laye duryng the 
lyf of Will'm Conq'ror, and at his deth he delyv'yd hym, and king 
Harold's son, and the biwshop of Doreham was pyned to deth in 
Abyngdon Abbey, or wold not ete, and than was all ther' londes forfet 
and seazed to and for the kynge." 


With the change from Saxon to Norman lordship a new order of 
thmgs was instituted. The moated grange of the Saxon earl gives 
place to the feudal castle of the Norman baron. Robert de Romille 
becomes lord of the fair domains of Bolton, and erects his castle 
at Skipton, and where had been "the sheep-fold of Craven" there 
sprang up a thriving market-town. The path of local history- 
becomes henceforth illumined by many records. First, and most 
important of all, comes the great Survey, known as Domesday 
Survey, completed in 1086. This great territorial inquest was 
ordered by the Conqueror in order that he might have a basis 
upon which to levy fines and fix money services. *' It shows us the 
woods, where the swine fed on the mast and acorns, the droves of 
wild horses in the marsh lands, the forests of the king, and the parks 
of his barons, and the fisheries of the hall and the abbey. It sets 
before us .... in fact, the whole daily life of the Old-English 
nation." In addition it gives all the different tenures and services 
upon which land was held at the time, and aftords insights to the 
criminal and civil jurisdiction. As I have said, a large portion of 
Craven was in the later Saxon days owned by Earl Edwin, but this 
earl had been dispossessed of all his estates before the making of the 
Domesday Survey ; wherefore his lands are classed as Terra Regis, or 
king's land. All these, in extent seventy-seven carucates, lay waste, 
not having recovered from the ravages of the Danes. Of these lands, 
■ as the record goes : — 

M In BoDELTONE comes Eduuin hb' vi car' tree ad gld. 

B In AUone vi car'. In Embesie in car' inland, in car' soca. 

inc. inc. line. vie. xe. 

B In Dractone, Scipcdcn, ficiptonc, Snachchale, ToredderU. 

nc. inc. 

S Bcdmcslcia, Holme. 


" Manm: — In Boddtonc (Bolton) Earl Edwin had six carucates of land to 
be taxed. 

" Bcrewick. — In AUone (Halton) six carucates. In Emhcsic (Embsay) three 
carucates inland, and three carucates soke. 

" Berevnck. — In Dractone (Dr-augliton) three carucates, Scipcdcn (Skibedon) 
three carucates, Sciptonc (Sku'ton) four carucates, Snachchale (Snaygill) six cam 
cates, Toredderli (Thorlby) ten carucates. 

"Soke. — Bcdmcslcia (Beamsley) two carucates, Holme three carucates." 

The earl had possessions also in Gargrave, Stainton, Addiugham, 
Otterburn, Scosthrop, Malham, Coniston, IlcUificld, Ilanlith, &c. 


The first grantee after the forfeiture of Earl Edwin was Robert de 
Romille, a follower of the Conqueror, who is described by an old French 
historian as a descendant of a "famille ancienne et considerable en 
Bretagne et en Normandie." It has been seen that before the Conquest 
the honour and fee of Skiptou originally belonged to Bolton, but Robert 
de Romille made Skipton the centre of his barony, and of whatever 
nature the residence at Bolton, it was now discarded as inadequate as 
a place of defence. On the precipitous rock lying to the north of 
their little Saxon village, the herdsmen of Skipton beheld the frowning 
walls of a Norman castle rise. What a change was to come over their 
mode of life ! The mean sheiep-town quickly grew into a place of 
comparative importance. Yet those were days of unceasing warfare, 
and oftentimes the folk of Skipton were fain to enjoy the shelter 
and the security, always free to them, of the fortress under whose 
walls they lived. Advantages they doubtless enjoyed as the outcome 
of their new dependence — advantages strange to them before. 

The name of the first Norman owner of Skipton will always be 
perpetuated from the fact that the extensive stretch of moorland lying 
to the east of the town bears his name — Romille's Moor.* It is 
indifferently spoken of as Rumble's, Rombold's, and Roumel's Moor. 
A hundred and fifty years ago the word had yet another form. Gent, 
the historian, writing of his visit to Skipton, says : — " I have now 
stray'd a considerable way westward, about thirty miles from York 
over Rummons-M.oor (tho' I think more properly to be called Romely- 
Moor from the name of the first Founder of Skipton Castle), and so 
down a dismal large Mountain or Precipice to this beautiful Town." 

Robert de Romille had but one child, a daughter, Cecily, who married 
William de Meschines, Lord of Copeland in Cumberland, and owner 
of Cockermouth and Egremont, and it was by these that the Priory 
of Embsay was founded, 21 Henry I.t It is an interesting fact that 
by this marriage the lands of which Earl Edwin, the Saxon, was 
dispossessed, came again into the hands of his family. This will be 
seen from the following table : — 

* "The first owner since the Norman Conquest was Robert Rumelik, ... of whose 
residence there the great mountain hanging over the io\m of Skipton doth take the name of 
Rumbles Moor."— Casffe Evidences. 

t Castle Evidences, also Dugdale, &c. 


Leofwine, Earl of Mercia= 

Leofric, Edwin (of Domesday) Ermenilda= 

Matilda = 

Ranulph de Meschines, Earl of Chester, William de Meschines = Cecily, daughter 
died 1129. and heir of Robert de Romille. 

Nicholson, the Airedale poet, has put this incident into verse : — 

" How changed, since Skipton's towers arose. 
Their country's strength, and terror of its foes ! 
Where Meschines, the long-ejected heir, 
Led to the altar Cecily the Fair, 
Obtaining thus, what many a life had cost. 
With his fair bride, the lands his father lost ; — 
All those domains which Edwin once possessed, 
Where famed Romilli fixed his place of rest." 

William de Meschines and Cecily de Romille had a daughter, Alice 
de Romille, the heiress, who married William Fitz Duncan, son of 
Earl Murray, and nephew of David, King of Scotland. This Fitz 
Duncan was the chief actor in a dreadful outrage fourteen years before 
his marriage. At that time the northern counties of England were 
frequently invaded by Scottish marauders, who appear almost to 
have studied how most brutally to accomplish their work of desola- 
tion. A raid of an unusually revolting nature is thus recorded by a 
chronicler: — "In the year 1138, while David, King of Scotland, was 
engaged in the siege of Norham, he detached the Picts, and part of 
his [Scottish] army, under the command of William, son of Duncan, 
his nephew, into Yorkshire. Here they laid waste the possessions of 
a famous monastery, called Suthernesse [? Furness], and the province, 
called Crafna, with fire and sword. In this work of destruction no age 
or rank, and neither sex, was spared ; children were butchered before 
the faces of their pai-ents, husbands in sight of their wives, and wives 
of their husbands ; matrons and virgins of condition were carried away 
indiscriminately with other plunder, stripped naked, bound togetlier 
with ropes and thongs, and goaded along with the points of swords 
and lances. Similar outrages had been committed in former wars, but 
never to the same extent. In their march northward, however, some 
of the captors, touched with compassion, set their prisoners af liberty, 
as offerings to the church of St. Mary, at Carlisle ; but the barbarous 
Picts dragged away their wretched captives without mercy into their own 
country. In short, these brutal savages, to whom adultery and incest 
were familiar, after having fatigued themselves with acts of lust and 


violence, either retained the females as slaves in their own houses, or 
sold them like cattle to the other barbarians." It was in this expedi- 
tion that a battle was fought at Clitheroe, wherein Fitz Duncan success- 
fully repulsed the attacks of King Stephen's troops. In the year 1152 
this same Fitz Duncan was established by the Scottish king in the 
honour of Skipton in Craven. The historian who is quoted above adds 
that in this latter expedition the Scots despoiled some of the Craven 
churches, and King David as atonement presented to each a silver 

William Fitz Duncan and Alice de Romille had issue one son, or 
as some say two, and three daughters. The son known as the Boy of 
Egremond is said by tradition to have been drowned at the Strid in 
Bolton Woods. Fitz Duncan's eldest daughter, Cecily, who succeeded 
to the estates, married William le Gross,! son of Stephen, Earl of 
Albemarle, and Lord of Holderness (ob. 1179). This William had a 
daughter, the heiress, named Hawise, who married first William de 
Mandevill, Earl of Essex, and also Earl of Albemarle, who died 1189; 
then William de Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle,| who died 1195; and as 
a third husband Baldwin de Betun, then ' Earl of the Isle of Wight,' 
who died 1212. Of this triple marriage came issue one son, William de 
Fortibus,§ Earl of Albemarle, and lord of Skipton (ob. 1241), who 

* " Peccaverunt ibi Scoti in direptionibus ecclesianim, pro quibus rex dato unicuique 
ecclesifB calice argeiiteo satisfecit." — Johannes Prior Ilarjustald. 

t " Which earl, William le Grosse, was a person of no small note in his time, whether we 
look upon him in reference to his Secular Actions or those tending to his soul's health (as tlien 
was taught). He was cheif of those great Peers that gave Battle to the Scots at North Alverton 
in an. 1138." — Dugdalc's Baronarje. 

':,^,:! X Dugdale says that in 1191, "upon collection of the Scutage for Wales, he answered Six 
pound Ten shillings for the Barony of Skipton, and Ten pound for tlie Knights' Fees apper- 
taining to his Earldom of Albemarle." i 

§ "Divers men presuming upo' their foi-mer services to the State, or thinking the olde bad 
World would either continue still, or soone returne if justice gTew confident against Tres- 
passcn's, or for what otlier corrupt motives soever, did dare iiitollerable things. The principall 
Lords of this mis-rule were William, Earle of Amiiaii, Falcasius de Brent, with his (Jarrison 
Souldiers, Roltert de Veipont, with others," &c. In the year 1221 the same Earl of Albemarle, 
"incited by Falcasius de Brent and the like riotous Gentlemen," is said to have "sodainely 
departed from the Court without leave, and (whither it were upon discontentment because the 
King had against the Earle's will the last yeare taken some Castles into his hands, or out of an 
evill ignorance how to live in quiet) he mannes the Castle of Biham, victuals it with the Corne 
of the Chancjus of Bridliiigttm, spoyles the Towne of Deeping, and under shew of repayring to 
the Parliament, seiseth on the Castle of Fotheringhay, committing many other furious riots in 
contempt of the King, & breach of his peace ; many others in other places following his lewd 
example. "—.'?j'et'(f. 

Dugdale says that in 1221, when the king levied scutage, this earl "answered Forty poumls 
for Twenty Knights' I'Vcs, as also Six ]i()iuuls Ten shillings for those J'"ees which he had by 
Inheritance from his Grandmother Alicia de Eumelli, viz., the Barony of Skipton in Craven." 


married Aveline, daughter and co-heir of Richard, Lord Mountfichet, 
They had a son, William de Fortibus, the last of the family of Albe- 
marle, who married Isabel, daughter of Baldwin de Rivers, Earl of 
Devonshire, by whom he had several children, only one of whom 
lived beyond youth. This was Aveline, who married Edmund Planta- 
genet, Earl of Lancaster, and second son of Henry IIL, who is known 
by the surname of Crouch-back or Crutch-back. No issue came of this 
union, and at the death of Aveline and Edmund the earldom of Albe- 
marle, along with the castle and honour of Skipton, passed into the 
hands of the crown by way of escheat. This Edmund was born in 
1245, and at the age of ten years was created Earl of Lancaster. Not 
long after this he was invested with the barren title of King of Sicily 
and Naples by the Pope. An old chronicler records his marriage in the 
following words: — "Upon the nynth day of Apyll,* 12C9, Edmund the 
King's Sonne, surnamed Crouchebacke, maryed at Westmynster Aulina, 
the daughter of the Earle of Aumarl." Speed says of this Planta- 
genet : — "Edmund, borne Jan. 26, a. 1245, and of his Father's raigne 
29, was suniamed Crouched-backe, of bowing in his backe, say some, but 
more likely of wearing the signe of the Crosse (anciently called a 
Crouch — so wee call the wooden siipportci'S of impotent men, made 
like a crosse at the top, and Crouched Friei-s for wearing a Crosso) upon 
his backe, which was usually worne of such as vowed voyages to Jeru- 
salem, as he had done. He was invested titular King of Sicilia and 
Apulia, and created Earle of Lancaster {on whose person originally the 
great contention of Lancaster and Yorke was founded), and having of 
the grant of his Father the lands of Simon Montfort and Robert Ferrers 
(disinherited in the Barons' warres) was by vertue of the same graunt 
Earle of Leicester and Derby, and high Steward of England. He had 
two wives : the first was Avelin, daughter and heire of William, Earle of 
Albemarle, by whom he left no issue; the second was Queene Blanch, 
daughter of Robert, Earle of Artoys (brother of Saint Lewis, Kiilg of 
France), widow of Henry of Champaigne, King of Navarre. This 
Earle Edmund died at Bayton in Gascoigne, June 5, an. 129G, and of 
King Edward his brother's raigne twenty-foure, when he had lived 
fifty yere, foure moneths and nineteene dayes." Grose, in his Antiqui- 

The earl appuars to have grown loyal ajiain, for in 1-230, after Henry III"s. frnitless invasion of 
Nornianily, he left Brittany in charge of " tlie three groat Earls of C'liester, Pembroke, and 
Auuiarl, with forces answerable."— SiXJcd and Dugdale. 

* Whitaker says .July (jtli. " Ednumd, second son to King Henry the Third, took her to 
wife, the King and Queen with almost all the Nobility of England lieing at the we<ldiiig."— 
Dugdale's Baruiuir/c. 


iies, says that Croiichbach and Aveline de Fortibus " had issue a son, 
Thomas, who siicceeded to this castle and honoui*, but he joining in a 
rebelUon against King Edward II., and being taken in arms at Bur- 
rough-bridge, was belieaded at Pontefract, when all his estates escheated 
to the crown, and were by that king granted to Robert Lord Clifford, 
on condition that he should perform the same services to the crown as 
the Earls of Albemarle had foi'merly done." By several accounts 
Edward I. is said to have used very questionable means to possess 
himself of a portion of the estates of Aveline. " There was one 
Stratton, a priest, who had great influence over the Countess Aveline. 
This man was engaged by the king to procure a gi-ant of her inherit- 
ance upon very unequal terms ; but, failing in his purj)ose, he is accused 
of having forged a charter, to which he affixed the Countess's seal after 
her decease." This story must, however, be received with due reserve. 
Dugdale amongst others refers to the story, but only in relation to 
the barony of the Isle of Wight. " It is said by some," says he, " that 
what was done as to the Isle of Wight was not real but fraudulent." 
Then comes an account of the ruse of Stratton. 

In the ninth year of the same king's reign, John de Eshton, Lord 
of the manor of Eshton, within the fee of Skipton, laid claim to the 
barony of Skipton, founding that claim upon direct descent from 
Amicia, daughter of William le Gross, Earl of Albemarle. An old 
record in the Castle Evidences thus refers to the dispute :— " It 
doth appear in the Pleas of Edward JI. that one John de Estou, 
Lord of the manor of Eston, commonly called Eshton, within the 
fee of Skipton, impleaded King Edward I. in the 9th year of 
his reign for the earldom of Albemarle, and derived his title there- 
unto from Amicia, one of the daughters of the said William de 
Legrossc, and sister to Haustia, countess of Albemarle, which Amicia 
was .mother to Constance, [mother] to Reighunt, father of John, 
father of another John de Eston, yt did implead the king, whose 
title the king could not evade, but gave an hundred pounds lands 
a year in lieu of his right, to release his interest in the earldom and 
honour of Skipton unto him ; which the said Estou did accordingly, 
which grant and release were lately in tlie castle of Skipton, and arc 
recorded in the tower of London." Among the lands assigned by the 
king to John de Eshton were, according to a record in the Herald's 
office : — " Hamlettum de Apletrewick, quod est membrura Castri de 
Skipton, cum capitali mess, et VI car. terre qu. extendit ad XVI. XII. 
Vr. hit. Hamlettum de l^>roghton, quod est mendjrum cast, p'dict', quod 
extendit ad XIII. II. X. exceptis sectis lib'm hom'm facient. Sect, ad 


curiam de Skiptou. Et Lacum de Eshton qui extendit ad XXX.* 
Et insuper III Acr. bosci de Elishow versus Aston, quas terras eidem 
Joh. concessimus pro jure hereditario quod habere clamabat in comitatu 
Albemarle, et in omn. terris quse fuerunt Alicie de Fortibus." 

At the date of Kirkby's Inquest, 1284, Skipton was still in the hands 
of the Crown, and the town is thus referred to : — " Skypton. — Villa 
cum castro est in manu regis tanquam dominicum suum ; et sunt in 
eadem xii car. terra), quarum sex et di, sunt in dominico regis, et v et 
di. tenentur de rege ; et quaelibet car. pra^dictarum v et di. redd, per 
ann. ad finem wap. lud. ob. q. ; unde summa est per aun. xxd. ob." The 
translation is :— "Skipton. — This town with castle is in the hand of the 
king as his private demesne- land, and there are in the same 12 carucates 
of land, of which 6| are in the private demesne-land of the king, and 
the other 5|- are held (in tenancy) from the king. And every carucate 
of the aforesaid 5i yields a yearly rental of 3| pence, so that the total 
yearly income thence is 20^ pence." 

The barony of Skipton continued in the hands of the crown from 
the time of the settlement of John de Eshton's claim until Edward II. 
became king (1307). Fifteen years before this its regal possessor had 
given temporary leave to the wife and family of William Lord Latimer 
— then in Gascony on the king's service — -to occupy the castle, " with 
allowance of fuel out of the woods there for her necessary use." 
Almost immediately, however, upon Edward IPs. ascent to the throne, 
he bestowed these estates upon one of his favourites, Piers Gaveston.t 
His enjoyment of them was short, for in four years he died an igno- 
minious death. 

The next disposal of the barony of Skipton was the most important 
by far in its whole history. In 1311 Edward II. in exchange for lands 
in Monmouthshire granted to Robert de Clifford, descendant of a war- 
like and an honourable family, the castle and manor of Skiptou, with 
other lands belonging thereto. It would appear that the king first 
granted the inheritance to Clifford for life, and afterwards altered this 
grant into a final exchange. The following are extracts from the 
grants : — 

* The tai')i was tlien, Whitakcr .supposes, fo\ir times as large as at piesent, "for land then 
hore a runt of no more tliaii 4il. per acre, and it can hanlly l)e supposed that water would be 
worth more than the fjrouml which it cnvured.'' 

t "In 1308, I Kdward II., tlie king grants to I'iers (iavaston and Margaret his wife, 
amongst other manors, ' Castnnii et manurium de Skipton i)i Craven, cum membris et alii.s 
pertinentiis siiis, in Comitatu Kborum.' If the said Piei's and Margaret .should die without 
heirs of their bodies, then the manors, Ac, to revert to the king or his heir.'"— Ryraer's Fxdera. 


1st. — " Rex concessit Roberto de Clifford et her's de corp' suo procr's 1001. terrse de 
manerio de Skipton, in Craven, per extent' inde faciendam, una cum feodis mil. et 
advocationibus ecclesiarum ad illas 1001. spectant." 

[The king granted to Robert de Clifford and to the heirs of his body procreated 
100 pounds lands of the manor of Skipton in Craven from the extent therefrom to be 
made, together with the military fiefs and church advowsons belonging to those lands.] 

2nd. — "Rex. Sciatis quod cum nos nuper per cartam nostram dederimus et cone' 
dil'o et fid' nostro Rob. de Clifford centum libratas terrse cum pert, in manerio nostro 
de Skipton, in Cravene, &c., et insujDer concessimus eidem Roberto Castrum nostrum 
de Skipton in Cravene, et alias centum libratas terrse in man. p'dict' habend. et 
tenend. ad terminum vitse suse ; ac idem Rob. nobis dederit et concess. omnes terras 
et omnia tenem. sua in Munemuthe et valle de Munemuthe, &c. Nos in excambium 
prsed. ter. et ten. concessimus eidem Roberto quod ipse p'dict. castrum et C libratas 
terras quae tenet ad terminum vitse suae habeat et teneat sibi et hered. suis de corp. 
suo legitime procreatis per eadem servitia quas comites Albemarlie, nuper d'ni castri 
et man. p'dictorum, facere debuerant et consueverant, 5to die August', a. r. 4°. Apud 

[Know ye that since we lately by our charter granted and conceded to our well- 
beloved and loyal Robert de Clifford a hundred pounds (libratae) of land with ajjpur- 
tenances in our manor of Skipton in Craven, &c., over and above we have granted to 
the same Robert our castle of Skipton in Craven, and other 100 pounds lands in the 
aforesaid manor, to be held and had to the end of his life ; and the same Robert has 
given and gi-anted to us all the lands and all his holdings in Monmoiith and the valley 
of Monmouth, &c. We in exchange have gi'anted the aforesaid lands and holdings to 
the said Robert for him to have and to hold the aforesaid castle and 100 pounds lands, 
which he holds to the end of his life, for himself and the heirs of his body lawfully 
begotten, for the same feiidal services which the Earls of Albemarle, the late owners 
of the castle and manor aforesaid, were bound and had been accustomed to pay. On 
the 5th of August, in the fourth year of our reign, at Nottingham.] 

3rd. — After the last charter is recited : — 

"Nos volentes eidem Roberto uberiorem gi-atiam facere in hac parte, concessunus 
quod ipse habeat et teneat sibi et heredibus suis de corpore suo legitimfe ijrocreatis, 
castrum, maneriiim, terras, et ten'a p'dicta, cum feodis militum, advocationibus 
ecclesiarum, capellarum, abbatiaruni, prioratuum, ac etiam cum homagiis, libertat', 
et omnibus aliis ad p'dictu' castrum, manerium, &c., spectantibus, adeo integrfe sicut 
praefati comites temporibus suis tenuerunt. Teste Rege apud Nov. Castrum super 
Tynam, 7 die Sept. a. p'dict." 

[We have granted to the said Robert, desLroiis to do a further favour, that he should 
have and hold for himself and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten, the castle, 
manor, lands, and holdings aforesaiii, with the military fiefs, advowsons of churches, 
and chapels, abbacies, priories, and also with the homages, liberties, and all other 
[privileges] belonging to the aforesaid castle and manor, &c., as entirely as the afore- 
said Earls held them in their times. Witness the King at Newcastle on Tyne, 7th 
September in the aforesaid year.] 

4th. — Three mandates to the feudatories of the castle come next : — 

" Et mandatmu est militibus, liber, horn, et (min. aliis tenentibus de castro et man' 
de Skipton, in Cra\'en, quod eidem Rob. tanquam domino suo sint intendentes et 


" Et mandatum est Gulielmo le Vavasur quod eidem Roberto de homagio et fideli- 
tate sua sit intendens et respondens in forma p'dictR. Eodem modo mandatum est 
Henrico filio Hugonis, Margarette de Nevill, Ranulpho de Nevill, Henrico de 
Kygheley. Per breve de priv. Sigill." 

[And it was ordered to the soldiers, freemen and all other tenants of the castle and 
manor of Skipton in Craven, that they should be obedient and dutiful to the same 
Robert as to their lord and master.] 

[And it was ordered to William le Vavasour that to the same Robert he should 
yield obedience and duty with homage and faithfulness in the aforesaid fashion. 
Similarly it was ordered Henry, son of Hugh, Margaret de Neville, Ranulph de 
Neville, Henry de Kighley. By brief from the privy seal.] 

Before closing this chai^ter upon what I have chosen for convenience 
to call the Saxon and Norman Period, I introduce a valuation of the 
manors conveyed to Robert de Cliffoi'd, along with which are the 
estimated values four years after the death of George, Earl of Cumber- 
land. This survey is not the one given by Whitaker, whicli is dated 
1612, and it differs from it in many particulars. The original spelling 
has been scrupulously followed : — 

\ "An estimate or Valuacon of the Manor of Skipton & of the lande & Ten'tes 
May, I therw'th gi-anted by King Edward the second, Anno Regni sui 4, to Robt. 

1609. ?" lord Clelford in exchange, according to an extent & value thereof made 

J A'o 3 Regni sui, ducent. librat. tre." 


The Castle, the yard, & court thereof, 2 Acre & di., valued ) •• 
at ijs. & is worth no more ) ^ ' 

Two Corne milles, then worth 13. 6. 8., now worth p. an'm xxx7. 

Two hundreth thirtie fiixe Acres of land Arrable, then worth ) Iviij^ wa. 
xd. an Acre, now worth one w'th another vjs. an Acre ... f xj/. xvs, 

Twelue Acres of pasture then worth 4d. an acre, now worth ) , 
vs. ev'y acre ) ' ' 

Two oxgangs of land & medow, then in demeyne & worth ) ••••7 
viijd., now worth p. An'ni ) ^ ' 

Twelue Acres of land in (.ialleflatt, ev'y Acre then at viijd., ) i . . 
now worth vs. ev'y Acre p. ann ) ' *" 

Three score eight acres of medow, then worth each acre^xxij/. xiij.v. iW'yl, 
ijs. vjd., & now worth ev'y Acre viijs ) iiij^. xs. viij'i. 

Diuerse litle ij'cells of medowe lying in the feelde, then | -, 
valued at xls. p ann. & now worth p. ann ^ ^ J • 

Agistin'ts & nionyes p'uied for agicstm'th & escajie of beasts "^ 

w'thin the manor, toui|)ore clo. & apto*, then valued at (.„,■;.,•/ 
2(>. 8d., ni)W ycildeth nothing, the grounde being en- ( 
closed & kei)t sev'all. 

The i)arke adioyning to the Castle, then valued at Ixs. beside 1 

the feeding & ke])ing of the deare, & now worth more^xij?. 
then that allow'ce 

The ])"fitte of the weekcly m'lcett & two faiers ther in the'^ 


yere, then valued at xvjl. xiijs. iiijd., and the same V^viiii/ 
m'kett w'th fower faiei-s & ev'y fortnight a faier ther i' ■' " 
from ea.ster till XXnias, is but now worth p. ann ) 

Ctauso ct apcito, when the common iieldti were in corn ami enclosed, and fallow and open. 


The lywter* fine or rent, then rated at xxs., & of long time ) 
hath bene decaied & nnpaied & now yeldeth but p. ann. ) ' ' 

The p'fitt of the fulling mille ther was then xs. & now paieth ) • 

butt r-' 

The Rent of freeholders ther then was xxxvijs ijd. whereof )■•• •• . 
the half is decaied & now paies but onely ) •' ' •' ' 

One toft & acre of land, then holden at will of the lord"| 

valued at vs. & now worthe the toft iijs, iiijd. & the Vviijs. iiijd. 
acre vs j 

Two burgages at will, then vs., now worth p. ann xs. 

Nine tofts, then holden at will & valued at xxiiijs. iiow ) 
worth ev'y one iijs. iiijd ) " 

Free Rents or Wapentake fines, then called white rents, ^ 
paide by forrein freholders & suitors to the Court ther | 
extended at Ijs. vijd. & now paieth but xxxs. by reason [-xxxs. 
that the reste is extinct by the dissolucion of the mon'iesf j 
that paied the same J 

Free Rents or fermes paied by the forrein freeholders, then "J 

extended at xlvjs. xd. p. ann. & now ])aieth but >xxvjs, \u]d. 
xxvjs. viijd. for the reason next aboue alledged ) 

The p'fitts of the Coiu-t ther called the Knights Court, \ . ■/ 
then extended at xl. xvs., is now worth p. ann y^^J • ^ • 

The p'fitt of the Burgh Court ther, then extended at xls. p. ) 

ann. is not now worth past j-xxxs. 

The free-chappells ther, then valued at Ixxxvjs. viijd. off late \ 

was found conceiled with the landes belonging, & there- (^ ., ., 
upon my late lord purchased the same, now & here to r" ' 
be valued / 

Improvement grounds ther since the extent worth i). ann xls. 

Skifbden. — 

xxiiij oxgangs of land then extended at xxiiijs. p. ann. & ) ^y t, yj:;; 
are now worth ev'y oxgang xls f " ' •' ' 

One toft then valued at iiijd., now worth xxc^. 

One other toft then valued at ijs. now worth iijs. iiijc?. 

The Customes, seruices, & other monies paid by the Tenn'ts^ 
of the tofts & gi-ounds ther were valued & extended 
viz. for wood carriage ijs., vittales carriage, xxiiijs.; 
])lowing & harrowing viijs. ; shering of corne xxxvjs. ; 
thatching backhous & brewhous xijd. ; for being tolle 
free ijs.; mille fernie xxxixs.; for tallage Ixxxs.; for 
m'chet & leyrwittj fines & p'quis'es of halmotexxs.; & 
for nutts at Hawe ijs. In all \/. xiiijs. & now jjaieth 
nothing saving that they bring pine wood, & maw hey, 
to the Castle, w'ch is not worth p. ann 

Holme. — 

A cajiitall messuage conteyning an Acre, two lathes, & a"j 

stable, then & yet of no value, the houses being all V vj.s. viij(/, 
decaied, saving the acre which p. ann j 

Two hundreth f ower score & seaven Acres of land arrable, ~j i^j^^xvl? xiii.s- iuul 
then extended at xd. the acre, is now (being most turned V^ix? ii« " viiid " 
into medow & pasture) worth viijs. an acre )' ' ' J • J " 

* Lytster is dyer. 

I Monasteries. 

t Merchet, a marriage fine ; leirwite, a fine for incontinence. 



ffower .score Acres of medow, then valued at iijs. iijd. an ) y 
Acre & is now worth each acre xs J 

Some litle corn's & p'cells of ground, sometimes mowen &.\ 

sometimes nott, then vah;ed at Ixs. & canne be demed no Vlxs. 

more becaus they cannot be knowen wher they ly ) (waste with Ayr.) 

Agistm'ths in those grounds when they were open was then ^ 

extended to xiijs. iiijd. & now yeildeth nothing, being V 7MAi7. 
kept contynually enclosed ) 

Thorleby. — 

In ffree Kents xijd. & now ther is a sparre-hawk or iijs. iiijV. 

Two oxgange & a toft conteyning xij Acres, extended atlj^^j- 
viijs. & is now worth p. ann. ev'y acre vjs ) •' ' 

xxij oxgangs of land in demeyne then valued ev'y oxgang at ) xxxiij?. & _ 
vjs. & are now worth ev'y one xxxvjs. viijd ) vij?. vjs. viijrf. 

Two oxgangs of land & a toft, escheted, valued at viijs. & is \\^yu viijtZ, 
now worth p. ann J 

Ther was then extended for the tallage of viij bondmen ) ,^^^.^ -^^ 
xxxs. & now ■ ) 

The p'fitts of the halmott with m'chett & leyrwith extended ^ 
then at iijs. iiijd., & no benefitt now happeneth by ( 
m'chett & leyrwitt and the p'fitt of the halmot is worth r ' 
now coib. annis / 

Improved grounds ther sithens the extent worth p. ann xxs. 

fforest of Barden. — 

Drebley Lodge with the ground belonging then extended at ) ^^ 
xxvjs. viijd. p. ann. is now worth p. ann ... J 

Barden Lodge w'th the medow & ground yrto belonging, \-^^^-j 
then valued at xiijs. iiijd. & is now worth p. ann i 

Laund Lodge, w'th the medow 'yrto belonging, then valued ) ^j^ 
at xs. is now worth per ann f 

Gamelswathe lodge w'th the medow belonging, then valued ) ^j^ 
at xxviiis. vid. is now worth xl. J 

Holgill lodge & the ground therunto belonging w'th medow ^ 

in the p'ke called Hardinge, then extended at xxxiijs. is Vviij^ 

at xxviijs. vjd. 

|ill lodge & the 

in the p'ke caL^v* ^^ o-i ■> i 

now worth p. ann. Mathout the medow in the park ) 

- nihil. 

Ungayne Lodge, then valued w'th a p'te of the Hardinge" 
medow in the p'ke to xiijs. iiijd. is now not to be fcmnd 
or knowen saving the Hardinge in the park, & it is 
thought that Ungaine is in the p'k also, and are ther 

The litle parke of Barden, then not extended saving the^ 
Hardinge supr. the residue seemeth to haue been im- I ^ 
proved since & is all now worth p. ann. beside the r ' 
feeding of the deare / 

Elsow lodge, then called Helsen nigh Crokcrise, w'thin") 
Barden forest, w'th the medow belonging, then valued at Vxls. 
xxvjs. viijd., is now worth ) 

Another lodge, w'ch is now called Crookrise lodge w'th the "J 
medow belonging, then valued at xxvjs. viijd. is now Vlxs. 
worth / 

Holden lodge w'th Gilgrennes lodge nighe Sallesden, &^ 
w'thin the same forest w'th the park adioyning, were I j^ 
then valued at viijs. & are now worth beside the feeding r 
of the deer / 

Agistmente of beasts w'thin Barden weer then extended at"| 

viijl. & are now worth p. ann. (the ground being inclosed Vxvj?, 
& agisted) beside the feeding of the deare ) 


Agistm'ts in Crookerise & Elsow, then valued at xxiijs. iiijd. "j 

are now worth p. ann. beside feeding of the deare, the >xv]7. 
grounde being inclosed & kept sev'all j 


Agistm'ts at Holden weer then \'alued at Ixs. & the grounds 

are now inclosed & rated in the value of Holden lodge & S- nihil 
Gilgrenge w'th the parke ante j 

Wood sales in Barden was then valued at xxs. p. ann. w'ch \ 

is as much as it can be now estemed, the woods being >xxs. 
much decaied.... j 

Wood sales in Crookerise & Elso then extended at xs, p. ann, ) 

can be no more for the reasons supra, then i^^ ' 

Wood sales in Calder then valued at iijs. maybe so con-).-- 
tynued, & no more ) •' ' 

Wood sales in Haw, then valued at ijs. is worth now p. ann. ...vis. viijc7. 

Pannage, w'ch is comonly called in this countrie mast oi's 

.swine, was then valued in Barden xxs., in Crokerise &I ., .. 
Elso ijs., in Holden xxs., & in Calder xijd. & now and ^^^"'^'" 
of long time hath yeildeth ) 

Escape or on-shote of fon-ends beasts into Barden was then") 

extended for Barden iiijs. viijd., Crookrise & Elso, ij.s., >lvijs. vjfi. 
Holden iijs., & is now worth p. ann j 

Turf graft in Barden extended then to vjs. viijd. is as much ) • ••■ j 
as now raiseth therupon |'VJ-?. vnja. 

Woody grounde called Eskewat & Derseyles, then valued af) 

three shillinge, things now unknowen, but deemed to be > nihil hie 
w'thin the p'ke at Barden & is valued supra j 

Calf fall in Holden, valued w'rth xjs. being the ferme paide") 

by two myners ther & now the xjs. unpaide, & the Calf- \nihil hie 
fall valued supra in Holden j 

Wood sales in Holden was not extended, but is now worth ) 

p. an |xxxs. 

P'fitts of Courts in Barden was not extended, & is now ) 

worth p. annm ^xxs. 

Improved grounds since the extent in the over end of east ) , 
Barden worth p. ann )^ 



|HERE are few people who are unacquainted with the 
tragic legend connected with the Strid, in Bolton Woods 
— a legend which has been handed down to the present 
time through more than seven centuries. Though the 
pathetic story of Romille, the Boy of Egremond, has so often been 
related in poem and prose, it will not, I hope, be thought idle 
again to dwell upon it. My purpose, indeed, is not merely the relation 
of the well-known legend : it is to inquire into the historic facts con- 
nected with it. Let us look at the legend in its popular form. 

William Fitz Duncan, a nephew of David, King of Scotland, and a 
man who has not left a very fragrant memory, married, as we have seen, 
about the middle of the twelfth century, Alice de Romille, grand-child 
of the first Norman lord of Skipton. Of these were born one son and 
three daughters. After one of his father's baronies the son was called 
the Boy of Egremond. 

There stood at this time a priory at Embsay. It had been erected 
by Cecily de Romille and her husband (William de Meschines); and 
here the Lady Alice generally resided. Then, as now, the course of the 
river Wharfe in Barden-dalc loy through dense forest. Here was the 
ftwourite hunting-ground of the lords of Skipton. Imitating the habits 
of his parent, young Romille early became a keen lover of the chase, 
and ofttimes in company with his huntsman he would piu-sue his 
pleasure in the forest-reach at Bolton. In the centre of these woods 
the natural solitude is broken by the furious roar of waters. The 
course of the Wharfe becomes narrowed to a rocky channel only a few 
feet in width, and through this contracted bed the great volume plunges 
with noise of thunder, eager as it were to escape from its imprisonment. 


In one place especially the channel is so narrow that with ease it can 
be crossed at a leap. From this habit of "striding" over it, the fissure 
has obtained the name it bears : — 

" This striding-place is called the 'Strid,' 
A name which it took of yore ; 
A thousand years hath it borne that name, 
And it shall a thousand more ! " * 

With light heart, the Boy of Egremond set off one day bent upon his 
sport. The huntsman was with him, and by his side ran a favourite 
hound. In time the woods of Barden were reached : — 

" Young Komille through Barden Woods 
Is ranging high and low ; 
And holds a greyhound in a leash, 
To let slip upon buck or doe." 

And now the youth has come within hearing of the turbulent Strid. 

He reaches it, aiid forsooth he must cross, as he has crossed many a 

time before. Planting his foot firmly upon the side of the rocky gorge, 

and holding by one hand the leashed hound, he takes the familiar 

leap : — 

" He sprang in glee, for what cared he? 

And the river was strong, and the rocks were steep ! 

But the greyhound in the leash hung back, 

And check'd hun in his leaj: 

t " 

The boy fell into the eddying current, dragging with him the hound. 
The latter soon swam to shore, but not so young Romille. He was 
taken out 'a lifeless corse.' Sad was the message the forester had to 
bear to his master's parents, and he considered how he might with 
least harshness deliver it. "What is good for a bootless bene?" he 
inquired of the Lady Alice. She saw through his words ; she read his 
mournful looks. " Endless sorrow ! " the lady said, for she beheld her 
fondest hopes shattered : — 

" She knew it by the falconer's words, 

And from the looks of the falconer's eye ; 
And from the love which was in her soul 
For her youthful Romille." 

There is peculiar tenderness in the words which tradition has put into 
the mouth of the forester, "What remains when prayer is useless?" 
Alluding to the question of the authenticity of the legend, a writer 
remarks : — " Nor can we quite afford to give the good shepherd over to 
be slain with a steel pen who saw the gallant lad go down as he stood 

* Wordsworth: "Force of Prayer." 


there on tlie hill ; there is an unspeakable pathos about the poor fellow 
as he turns away from his eager, heart-breaking watch on the rocks, for 
some chance to pluck the boy out of the clutch of death, and in the way 
he tells his sad story — so delicately ; as it were, not being able to tell 
the bare, rugged truth, any more than he would be able to smite the 
mother with his clenched hand." 

The legend goes that on account of her bereavement Lady Alice 
caused the priory at Embsay to be removed to the banks of the Wharfe 
at Bolton. Wordsworth thus refers to the assumed translation : — 

" Long, long in darkness did she sit, 

And her first words were, ' Let there be 
In Bolton, on the field of Wharfe, 
A stately priory !' 

The stately priory was rear'd, 

And Wharfe, as he moved along. 
To matins joined a mournful voice. 

Nor fail'd at evensong. 

And the lady pray'd in heaviness 

That look'd not for relief ; 
But slowly did her succour come, 

And a patience to her grief." 

The foregoing is the generally-accepted legend. In Burton's Monas- 
ticon (1758) the account given slightly differs. "It is said," says 
Burton, " that Alice de Rumeli had one son, who going a coursing with 
his greyhound came to a narrow brook or water, which was so naiTow as 
might easily be step'd over, call'd the Strides, which he attempted to 
do : but by leading one of the dogs which did not advance was drawn 
backwards into the water and drowned. The huntsman went to his 
mother, and asked her, What was good for a bootless beane ; and she, 
deeming some ill to her son, replied, Endless sorrow ; so he told her it 
was her case, and then related the accident which had befallen her son. 
She then said she would make many a poor man's son her heir, and then 
founded the rehgious house at Emsay, and afterwards removed it to 
Bolton." Burton says this account is from Dodsworth's MSS., pub- 
lished by Dr. Johnston, of Pontefract. In a document among the Castle 
Evidences is another very interesting version. Referring to Bolton and 
the Boy of Egremond, it says : — " There is a tradition in those p'tes 
that he passing the ' Stread ' upon the river of the Wharfe not far from 
Barden Tower, a narrow place in the river raised up by the rocks, where 
offering to leap over was pulled back by his dogs, which he had in a 
slip, and so had his brains knocked out by the rocks, his mother being 
present" This version I have not seen elsewhere. 



As the poem of Rogers is not so widely known as that of Wordsworth, 
I insert it here : 

" ' Say, what remains when hope is fled ?' 
She answer'd ' Endless weei^iiig !' 
For in the hei'd.sman's eye she read 
Who in his shroud lay sleeping. 

At Embsay rang the matin bell ; 
The stag was roused in Barden-fell ; 
The mingling sounds were swelling, dying, 
And down the Wharfe a hern was flying : 
When, near the cabin in the wood, 
In tartan clad and forest green. 
With hound in leash and hawk in hood, 
The Boy of Egremond was seen. 
Blythe was his song — a song of yore ; 
But where the rock is rent in two, 
And the river rushes through. 
His voice was heard no more ! 
'Twas but a step ! the gulf he pass'd ; 
But that step — it was his last ! 
As through the mist he winged his way 
(A cloud that hovers night and day) 
The hound hung back, and back he drew 
The master and his merlin too. 
That narrow place of noise and strife 
Received their little all of life ! 

There now the matin bell is rung. 
The " Miserere !" duly sung ; 
And holy men in cowl and hood 
Are wandering up and down the wood ;" — 

And then, having in mind the relentless ravages committed in Craven 
by this very boy's father, the poet adds : — 

" But what avail they ? Ruthless lord, 
Thou didst not shudder when the sword 
Here on the young its fury spent. 
The helpless and the innocent. 
Sit now, and answer groan for groan ; 
The child before thee is thine own ; 
And she who wildly wanders there, 
The mother, in her long despak. 
Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping, 
Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping, 
Of those who would not be consoled, 
When red with blood the river roll'd," 

Thus far the legend. But now comes the less sentimental part of the 
business. Recorded history was ever sworn enemy to oral tradition. 
And it is to be feared that the story of Romille and the Strid as it has 
been handed down for so many generations cannot pass unscathed 


through close examination. That such an accident occurred at that 
early period there can be no reasonable ground to doubt ; the question 
is, Who was the victim 1 Up to the time of Whitaker the legend had 
been received implicitly, both as regards the accident and the trans- 
lation of the priory of Embsay. It turns out, however, that the 
drowned son of Lady Alice de Eomille was himself a witness to the 
charter of translation. To get rid of the difficulty Whitaker places the 
parentage of the Boy of Egremond a generation earlier. " I have 
little doubt," he says, " that the story is true in the main ; but that 
it refers to one of the sons of Cecilia de Romille, the fn-st foundress, both 
of whom are known to have died young." Wliitaker's editor, Mr. 
Morant, remarks : — " The legend cannot be implicitly received ; for 
when Alice gave the canons her manor of Bolton in exchange for their 
manors of Skibdun and Stretton, her son William (and in a pedigree 
exhibited to Parliament in 1315 he is set down as her only son) appears 
in the charter as a consenting party to the transaction ;* but may it not 
be better reconciled with this stubborn piece of evidence by supposing 
that the manor of Bolton had been exchanged for the convenience of 
Alice before the accident ; and that svibsequently the canons were glad 
to find a pretext, in her disconsolate lamentations, for descending from 
the bleak and cheerless heights of Embsay to the warm and sheltered 
seclusion of their newly-acquired possession It is remark- 
able," he adds, " that after the first grant of the manor of Bolton her 
son is never again mentioned in these records, and that her husband was 
not joined with her in her donation ; though it is said that he was 
living, and was established by the King of Scotland in his possessions in 
Craven in 1152."t 

In all places where I have found allusion to the legend of the Strid, 
the name of the drowned son is given as William. But in a document 
among the Castle Evidences, the title of which is " Of the Lords and 

* See Dugdale's Mmi. Ang., vol. 2, page 101 :—" Memorandum quod in Anno Domini mille- 
simo centesimo quinquagesirao primo Anno regni Regis Henrici secundi, pmtw, Translati fue- 
runt dicti Canonici, per assensum, voluntatem, & ordinationem Dominre Alicise de Romilli, 
tunc advocatse usque Boulton : Quse quideni Alicia dedit dictis Canonicis Capitale Manerium 
de Boulton in escambium aliarum terrarum, ut patet per Cartam quse sequitur : — 

" Notum sit omnibus tam prnesentis quani futuri temporis Sancta; Ecclesi.'e flliis, Quod ego 
Adeliza de Rumelli, consensu & assensu Willielmi lilii, & hwredis mei, & filiarum meanini, 
dedi, consessi, & hac proesenti Carta confirraavi Deo & Canonicis regiilaribus .Sanctaa Mariie, 
& Sancti Cuthberti Embesioe, totum Manerium de Bolton cum omnibus pertinentiis suis," &c. 

The charter is attested by the son of Alice de Romille :— " Iliis testibus, Wil. filio meo de 
Egremont . . . et multis aliis." 

t 3rd edition Whitaker, pa^e 447 ; note. 



Owners of y^ Honour of Skipton in Craven since y^ entry of y' 
Normans," &c., it is said to be Richard. The passage which will 
interest us is as follows :— " The said Cecilia* had one only daughter 
'' named Alice de Rumelia, who took to husband William son of 
" Duncan, son of Malcom, king of Scotland, who removed her house of 
"nuns from Embsay to Bolton in the first year of King Henry II. 
"[1154]. She had issue Richard, surnamed ^ Richardus Puer Egre- 
" munde^ ivlio died unfortunately about the beginning of the reign of King 
" John, luithout issue." Then follows the tradition of his death, and the 
document proceeds : — " This Richard had a sister called Cecilia, married 
" to William (surnamed Legros) son of Stephen Earl of Albemarle, and 
"Lord of Holderness" \ob. 1179]. Since Fitz Duncan only settled 
himself at Skipton in 1152, it is very improbable that his marriage with 
Alice de Romille took place before that year. This will dispose of that 
part of the legend which represents the lady as translating her priory 
because of her bereavement; for the translation took place in 1154, 
My own conclusion is that the lady had two sons, and that it was not 
William who was drowned ; indeed, the latter theory cannot be dis- 
puted, by reason of the documentary evidence already referred to. 
Whitaker speaks of an ' elder brother ' of the drowned son, who was 
survived by the latter. The extract I have given from a document 
among the Castle Evidences says that " Richard . . died unfortunately 
about the beginning of the reign of King John, without issue." As this 
monarch ascended the throne in 1199, we must either assume a serious 
anachronism or allow that the son drowned at the Strid had attained to 
manhood. Though I am inclined to suppose an error in date, there 
seems, on the other hand, no reason beyond that of conventionalism for 
describing the victim of the Strid as very young. 

Altogether, great mystery surrounds this melancholy incident. But 
view the legend in what light we choose, and invest it with what un- 
certainty we may, it will be impossible to rob it of a romantic interest 
which has stirred the muse of Wordsworth to one of its most charming 
achievements. In the poet's verses, beauty of conception is joined 
with gracefulness and simplicity of diction : the pathos of the language 
, accords well with the pathetic theme. 

* "A devout lady called Cecilia de Rumela, who took to husband one WiUiam de Meschines, 
. . . . who together with the said William Meschines, her husband, founded the Priory of 
Embsay for Nuns, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, about a mile distant from her Castle of 
Skipton, in the 21st year of the reign of King Henry I." [1121]. 



|0 do anything like justice to the history of this great family, 
with whom the fortunes of Skipton are so closely connected, 
a volume rather than a chapter would be needed. Viewed 
as a whole, that history, from its romantic interest, from 
the strange vicissitudes of fortune it presents, from its really national 
import, is a most remarkable one. Long before the martial achieve- 
ments of the first Clifford of Skipton, members of the family had 
distinguished themselves on the field, and the deeds of these are 
recorded in history. The original name was Punt, Fitz Punt, or Ponz. 
One of this line came over with the Conqueror and acquired Clifford 
Castle in Herefordshire. His son took the surname Clifford. Camden 
says in his description of Herefordshire : — 

"As the Munow rtins along the lower part of this county, so the Wye with a 
winding course cuts it in the middle ; upon which in the western bounds stands 
Clifford Castle, which William Fitz-Osborn, Earl of Hereford, buUt upon his own 
waste (these are the very words of Domesday-book), but Ralph de Todeny held it. 
It is su]3pos'd that it came afterwards to Walter the son of flichard Punt, a Norman, 
for his sirname was de Clifford, and from him the illustrious family of the Cliffords, 
Earls of Cumberland, are originally descended. But in King Edward the first's time, 
John Giffard held it, who married the heir of Walter Clifford." 

From very early times the Cliffords were castellans of the Castle of 
York, whence one of its aiicient towers is known as Clifford's Tower. 
They also claimed the right of bearing the city sword on the occasion of 
a royal visit. More than once this riglit was disputed. In the reign of 
Henry VIII., in his father the Earl's absence. Lord Clifford claimed to 
carry the sword before the king. Many persons of estate objected, 
saying that " howbeit the Earl of Cumberland had such right, yet his 


son, the Lord Cliftbrd, could have no title thereunto in the life of his 
father, and they also objected that the Lord Clifford rode on a gelding 
furnished on the northern fashion, which was not comely for that place." 
Young Clifford sturdily defended his claim, saying that " the Earl his 
father being employed in the king's affairs, he trusted that his absence 
should not be made use of to the prejudice of his inheritance." As the 
result of the dispute, we are told that " King Henry VIIL, perceiving 
the Earl's right, dispensed with his absence and delivered the sword to 
the Lord Cliff'ord his son, who carried it before the king within the city." 
In the time of James I., however, the claim was again disputed. When 
King James came first out of Scotland to York, George Earl of 
Cumberland attended him with an equipage so magnificent that, says 
Fuller, " he seemed rather a king than Earl of Cumberland, Here 
happened a contest between the Earl and the Lord President in the 
North about carrying the sword before the king in York, which office 
was finally adjudged to the Earl as belonging to him." And this writer 
adds : — " Whilst Clifford's Tower is standing in York that family will 
never be forgotten."'^ 

To one early member of the line of Clifford is attached unenviable 
notoriety. I refer to Rosamond, or " Fair Rosamond " as she is termed, 
the paramour of Henry IL She was daughter of Walter de Clifford, 
whose son Walter quarrelled with his sovereign in 1250, and came to 
grief. An historian says: — "Walter de Cliff'ord (a Baron of the Marches 
of Wales) for enforcing an officer (whom he had otherwise handled 
badly) to eate the King's Writ, Waxe and all, ran so farre into the King's 
displeasure thereby, that while he lived he was made the lesse able to 
feede himselfe, paying to the King a very great summe of money, and 
hardly escaping without confiscation of his whole patrimonie." It seems 
certain, however, that this Walter de Cliff'ord spent his last years in the 
enjoyment of his sovereign's full confidence. He died in 1264-. 

In the great barons' war of the time of Henry III., 1263-1268, Roger 
de Clifford, son of the preceding Walter, took part. At first he sided 
with the barons, but early in the war he deserted them, delivering 
Gloucester Castle, which he held for them, to Prince Edward. In 

"To decide the doubt, the King's Majestie merily demaunded if tlie sword being his they 
Avould not be pleased that he should have the disposing thereof ; whereunto when they humbly 
answered it was all in his pleasure, his Highnesse delivered the sword to one that knew wel 
how to use a sword, having beene tryed botli at sea and on shoare, the thrise honoured Earle of 
C'uniljerland, who bare it before his Majestie, ryding in great state from the Gate to the 
Jlinster." — Progremses of King James the First, vol. i., p. 78. 


Political Songs (Camden Society, 1839) occurs "The Song of the 

Barons," which the editor supposes to have been written soon after the 

disturbances in London in 1263, and this Clifford is referred to in the 
following verse : — 

" Et de Cliffort ly bon Roger 
Se contint cum noble ber, 

Si fu de grant ju.stice ; 
Ne suffri pas petit ne grant, 
Ne arere ne par devant, 

Fere nul inesprise." 

[" And the good Roger de Clifford — behaved like a noble baron, — and executed great 
justice, — he suffered neither little nor great, — neither behind nor before, — to do any 

For his signal service this Clifford received considerable estates from the 
king. Moi-e than once he aided his king against Llewellyn the Welsh 
prince. In 1282, at which time Roger was Justiciar of the Principality, 
Speed says that Llewellyn's brother David, " whom the king had laden 
with so many benefits and graces," " sodainely and treacherously upon 
Palme Sunday seised the Castle of Hawardin, surjirising Roger de 
Clifford, a noble and famous knight, whom the king had dispatched into 
those parts as Justiciar of all Wales, and slaying such unarmed men as 
offered to resist that violence, whence marching, he laide seige, together 
with the Prince his brother, to the Castle of Redolan, doing many 
outrages." This Clifford died in 128G. 

His sou, Roger, married Isabel, daughter and co-heir of Robert de 
Vipont, Lord and Hereditary Sheriff' of Westmorland, by which 
marriage Brougham Castle came to the Cliffords. This Clifford met 
his death in 1283 in a struggle with the Welsh, The scene of this 
conflict was the Snowdon mountains. " The Welsh," says an historian, 
" slew the Lord William de Audley, and the Lord Roger Cliflbrd the 
younger, and got foureteene Ensigns from the English Army, King 
Edward being enforced to enter into the Castle of Hoj^c for his safetie." 
Stow speaks to the same effect. Robert de Clifford, the first Lord of 
Skipton, was son of this Roger. 


First Lord of Skipton. 

With examples of martial success and renown such as wc have seen 
for emulation, this Clifford proved no unworthy descendant of his 


chivalrous ancestors. He was born about the year 1274. For him, 
thouoh it came — 


" With visage grim, stern look, and blackly hued," 

war had a strange fascination. " From his infancy," says Sir Matthew 
Hale, "he was educated in the schoole of warre, under King Edward L, 
as good a master, for valour and prudence, as the world afforded." In 
1297 Robert was appointed by the king to the governorship of Carhsle, 
"to represse the insolence of the Scotts, which he did with much fidelitie 
and courage." Several other important commissions he discharged with 
equal faithfulness, and from Edward I. as from his son Edward II. he 
received many marks of favour. As reward for his service lands in 
Scotland were granted to him ; but those were days when right was 
built upon might, and Clifford did not deem his possessions secure. "• As 
they were gotten by power, soe they could not be preserved or kept 
without difficulty," says Hale. Not willing, therefore, " to build any 
great confidence on these debateable acquisitions, in the beginning of 
the reign of Edward II. he cast his eye upon a more firme possession 
at a reasonable distance from Scotland : and this was the castle and 
honour of Skipton." It was thus that the barony of Skipton came 
into the hands of the Cliff'ord family. First it was gi-anted as a life 
inheritance, but afterwards it was exchanged for lands in Monmouth. 
To this lord is attributed the erection of the castle in its present form. 

This Clifford took an active part in the quarrels with Scotland, and 
in 1301, when the Pope of Rome attempted to step between that 
country and England, he subscribed to a reply in which his Holiness 
was politely admonished to mind his own business. Here Clifford 
writes himself as "Robert de Clifford, Chatellaine of Appelbie." When 
in 1306 Bruce caused himself to be crowned King of Scotland, 
Edward I. at once despatched a force against him. Having honoured 
Edward Prince of Wales, his eldest son, with the Order of Knighthood, 
says an historian, he " sent him against King Robert into Scotland, 
attended with a troop of noble young gentlemen, Aymery de Valence, 
Earl of Pembroke ; Robert de Clifford, and Henry de Percie being 
gone before with an Armie." 

Clifford accompanied the king on his last journey northward. " In 
the 35 of Edward I.," says Dugdale in his Baronage, "being again 
in Scotland, he came to the king, when he lay on his death-bed at 
Burgh upon the Sands, in Cumberland, being one of the Lords then 
desired to take care that Piers Gaveston might not any more return 



into England, to debauch Prince Edward." He fulfilled this trust 
faithfully, for he joined Lancaster in putting the insane favourite to 
death, "for which transgression," Dugdale remarks, "he had his 
pardon " afterwards. 


(Cheeky, or and azure, a fess gules. ) 

It was in fighting against the Scots that this Clifford fell. At the 
battle of Bannockburn, June 24th, 1314, the English suffered fearfully. 
" The losse," says an old chronicler, " fell much upon the Noblest, for 
there were slaine in this battaile Gilbert Earle of Glocester (a man 
of singular valour and wisedome), the Lord Robert de Clifford, and 
besides other Lords, about seven hundreth Knights, Esquiers, and 
men of Armories." Clifford's body was saved the rude interment of 
those less noble. " From this over-throw King Edward escaping to 
Berwicke, King Robert sent thither to him the bodies of the Eai'le 
of Glocester and Lord Cliflbrd, that they might receive honourable 
interrement among their owne friends." It is very probable that 
Clifford was buried at Bolton Abbey, for there is a charge at this time in 
the Compotus of Bolton for the making of sarcophagi or stone coffins : — 
" Cementar. pro sarcofagis faciend. in ecclesia, xi*. xc/." Another entry 
relates to the march northward of the English before the battle of 
Bannockburn : — " Quatuor horn' eunt' apud Scotiam cum plaustris 
D'ni Reg., xvi.v. iv(/." It would appear that the canons were honoured 
with the questionable privilege of forwarding the king's baggage. 
Robert de Clifford is universally spoken well of. We are told that 
he "always see kept the King's favour that he lost not the love of 


the nobility and kingdom, and by that meanes had an easye access to 
the improvement of his honours and greatnesse." Loyalty to sovereign 
and zeal for country were his distinguishing characteristics. 

Secokd Lord of Skipton. 

He was born 1299, and was the son of Robert de Clifford and Matilda, 
daughter of Thomas de Clare. At the time of his father's death 
he was but fifteen years of age. " His father," says Sir Matthew Hale, 
" left him under the disadvantage of infancy, and a troublesome time 
— the latter gave him opportunity to be a confederate in a faction, 
and the former made him obnoxious to it." This Roger in fact took 
part with the bai'ons in their rising againt the king's favourites, the 
Spencers, under Thomas Earl of Lancaster. The rising was not 
successful. Lancaster found the king better supported than he ex- 
pected, and when the royal forces were ready for conflict he was in 
doubt what course to adopt. An old chronicler, William de Pakington, 
says : — " After this Thomas Lancastre and the Barons counselid 
together in Blake Freres in Pontfracte, and the Barons concludid to 
go to Dunstanburg, a castel of Thomas Lancaster's in Northumberland ; 
but he utterly refusid that counsel, lest it might have been thought 
that he had or wolde have intelligence with the Scottes. Wherefore 
he intendid to remayne at his castel at Pontfract. Syr Roger Clyfford 
hering this toke out his dagger, and sayde that he wolde kille him 
with his oune liandes in that place except he woolde go with them." 
The king triumphed over his enemies, and the Earl of Lancaster paid 
for his leadership with his life. With him also died other of the 
nobility. Speed, relying upon Holiushed, says : — " That so great and 
mightie a man as Thomas Earle of Lancaster should not seeme to die 
without a bloudy complement sutable to his condition, there were 
hanged and quartered upon the same day at Pontfract five or sixe 
Barons ; and the next day at Yorke were hanged in yron chaines the 
Lords Clifford, Mowbray, Deyvill, and others afterward in other places, 
to the number in all (though all of them not Barons) of twentie and 
two, the chiefest Captain es of the Realme suffered death for their 
disloyalties. Threescore and twelve Knights more were dispersed into 
sundry prisons, who (saith De la More) upon fines payd had aftei'ward 
their Liberties." In his list of the barons who " perished by hatchet 
and halter for this business," Speed gives — " The Lord Roger Clifford, 
Sonne of that Robert Lord Clifford who was slaine by the Scots, with 


Gilbert Earle of Glocester, at the Battle of Bauocksbourue, in the 
service of this king." Stow and Dugdale also hold this ojjinion. In 
the MS. Collection at Eshton Hall is a paper called " Noblemen 
and Persons of qualitye pntt to death in the Raigne of King Edward 
the Second, 1322," and in the list occurs the name of this Roger, who 
is said to have died at York. Other authorities say that Clifford was 
spared. One chronicler records that "Syr Roger Cliftbrde was sore 
wonded on the hedde," and Sir Matthew Hale says that "by reason 
of his great wounds, being held a dying man, his execution was respited 
for that time," adding that after the heat of his fury had subsided the 
king granted Clifford his lite. Hale says he died a natural death in 
1327. Two years after the rebellion the king paid a visit to Skipton. 

Third Lord of Skipton. 

He was born in 1305, and married Isabel, daughter of Maurice Lord 
Berkeley, of Berkeley Castle, by whom he had among other children 
Robert and Roger, who both succeeded to the barony. This lord's 
career was not marked by any deed calculated in any wise to bring 
honour to his name. He was a sort of ' carpet-knight,' preferring the 
frivolities of court-life to the rough experience of the field. He appears 
to have regained possession of ancestral lands in Scotland. " Edward 
Balioll claiming the crowne of Scotland, and by the help of the young 
King of England against David de Bruis obteyning it, this Edward 
in the first year of his reign granted unto this Robert and his heyres, 
for his service done, and to be done, the castle of Douglasse and all 
the lands which were James Douglas' then seized into this king's 
hands for the rebellion of James." In the time of Edward I. Clifford's 
grandfather obtained these lands. Robert died 1344, but his wife not 
until 1363. Sir Matthew Hale observes that a "large extent" was 
made after the latter's death. I have come across a copy of this 
valuation. It begins as follows : — " In(iuisitio capta apud Skypton 
in Craven, coram Willelmo de Nessefeld, esceatori domini Regis, in 
comitatu Eboracensi, xiii™" die Augusti, anno regni Regis Edwardi 
tertii post Conquestum tricesimo sexto," &c. It is herein set forth 
that " Isabella, who was wife of Robert de Cliftbrd, deceased, held land 
in the county of York," but that the castle aud manor of Skipton 
were "granted to the said Robert and Isabella, to have and to hold 
for life, to their son Robert and his heirs, and if he died without issue 
to his brother Roger and the heirs of his body for ever." A specifica- 


tion of the yearly value of the estate follows. The valuation of the 
manor of Skipton (from a translation of much later date) is 
appended : — 

"They say that there is att Skipton a certains Castle, and it is worth nothing by 
the yeare within the walls, but it wants much for reparation by the yeare of the 
houses and walls of the said castle. And there is there without the said Castle one 
gardine newly made, and it is worth nothing by the yeare aboue the price.* And 
there is there in the dominion eleauen score and fifteene acres of land, of wch euery 
acre is worth by the yeare foiure pence, the sume three score eighteene shillings 
four pence ; of ye wch two parts can euery yeare bee sowed with double seed and 
the third part euen now euery yeare lyes wast, and the pasture from theare is worth 
nothing by the yeare which lyes in comon. And they say that the double seed was 
sowed there in the life of the aforesaid Isabell. And there are there in the dominion 
twenty acres of land, the herbage of which is worth by the yeare three shillings and 
foure pence. And there are there in the dominion in diuerse places three [score] six 
acres of medow, of which euery [acre is worth] by the yeare in comon yeares [one 
shilling], the sume three score six shillings .... And there is there under the 
said Castle one parke with wild beasts, of which the herbage is worth by the yeare 
aboue the food of the beasts twenty-six shillings eight pence. And there is there one 
water mill and it is worth by the yeare in comon yeares a hundred shillings, besides 
the price. And there is there one fuller's mill, and it is worth by the yeare six 
shillings eight pence beyond the price. And there is there a certaine markett held 
euery yeare on the Sabboth day euery weeke, and two faires held by the yeare in the 
feasts of Saint Martin in winter and of Saint James the Apostle, of which Tolls with 
other comodityes are worth by the yeare in comon yeares six pounds thirteen foure 
pence. And there is there of rendringe of a free tenant in socage and a tenant att 
will by the yeare three score shillings and two pence at the Termes of Saint Martin 
and Pentecoste. 

"The sume of the value of the mannor of Skipton as it appeares aboue by the 
yeare — three and twenty pound thii-teen shillings and six pence." 

Other manors brought the total to £207 15s. 9d. The jurors in this 
inquiry were Simon de Marton, John de Fikelton, John de . . . , 
Robert de Bradeley, John de Farnhill, William de Hartlington, Richard 
Farnell, Thomas de Marton, John de Scosthorp, Robert de . . . , 
and William de Skipton. 


Fourth Lord of Skipton. 

At the death of the aforesaid Robert this son was only thirteen years 
of age. He married Euphemia, daughter of Ralph Lord Neville, of 
Middleham, but had no issue, and he died within age. He early took 
the field, for before he had reached his fifteenth year he fought at Crescy 
(1346), and it is said ten years later at Poictiers. In his account of the 

^ Reprises occurs in the Latin, meaning the charges with which the land is burdened. 


former battle Speed speaks of 'Clifford' as one of the "prime and 
sagest captaines " who commanded. If young Robert is meant the 
compliment is certainly a rather extravagant one. As to the date of 
his death there is disagreement. Some say it occurred in 1352, and 
others in 1357. If, however, he was present at the battle of Poictiers 
he was alive in 1356. It is probable that the earlier date is the correct 
one, and that it was the succeeding baron who fought at Poictiers. 

Fifth Lord of Skipton. 

He was brother of the preceding Robert, and like him was of martial 
spirit. He was born in 1335, and married Maud, daughter of Thomas 
Lord Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, by whom he had sons Thomas and 
William, and according to Dugdale Lewis, who was the founder of the 
Cliffords of Chudleigh. In 1367 this Roger obtained the king's licence 
to enclose 500 acres of land as a park at Skipton. In the wars in 
France and Scotland he took an active part. He was present in 1350 at 
the seafight near Winch elsea, with the Spaniards; in 1356 he was 
fighting in Scotland; and three years later in France. In 1385 he 
accompanied Richard II. in his invasion of Scotland, having a retinue of 
60 men-at-arms and 40 archers. He died July, 1390. Hale says of 
him : — " He lived in the busy time of Edward III. and of Richard II., 
and it seems he was a man given to military imployments, the differences 
with France and Scotland not suffering men of spirits to be stiU, without 


Sixth Lord of Skipton. 

He was a son of the last lord, and was born in 1364. He married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Lord Ross, of Hamlake, who died 1424. 
He was a most degenerate lord, for being one of the favourites of 
Richard II. he was equally as extravagant and dissolute as his monarch. 
It is said that two years before he entered upon his father's domains he 
was charged by the Parliament with having aided the king in his 
dissolute conduct. His military career was pretty nearly a blank. One 
deed of arms, indeed, he was the chief actor in, and from it his character 
may be judged. It occurred abroad. About 1390, says Holinshed, 
" William Dowglasse, of Niddesdale, was chosen by the lords of Prutzen 
to be admerall of a navie containing two hundred and forty ships, which 
they had rigged, and purposed to set forth against the miscreant people 



of the north-east parts. But being appealed by the Lord Clifford (an 
Englishman who was then likewise to serve with the foresaid lords in 
that journie) to fight with him in a singular combat, before the day 
came appointed for them to make trial of the battell, the Lord Clifford 
lay in wait for the Dowglasse, and upon the bridge of Danzke met with 
him, and there slew him, to the great disturbance and stay of the whole 
journie." It was a questionable sort of valour. This Lord Clifford was 
slain in Germany in 1392. 

Seventh Lord of Skipton. 

He was a son of Thomas Lord Clifford. " This lord," says Hale, 
" being in ward to the king, the wardship, as appears, was granted to 
Elizabeth his mother, who during his minority took care for a convenient 
match for him : and a treaty was accordingly had between her and 
Henry Peircy, earl of Northumberland, for a match between him and 
Elizabeth, only daughter of Henry Peircy, sonne of the said earle. And 
this was accordingly solemnized when this John was not much above 15 
yeares old ; for the said earle and his son, Sir William Greystock, &c., 
became bound to Eliz. in 1000 marks, which by her indentures dated 
May 22nd, 5th Henry IV., reciting the said marriage, is defeazanced." 
This lady's father is known in history as "Hotspur." Lord John proved 
a worthier Clifford than his father. In 1415 he accompanied Henry V. 
in an expedition to France. Two years later he seems to have been 
retained by the king for the French wars. " The contract was to this 
effect, that this lord, with 50 men at ai-mes well accoutred, whereof three 
to bee knights, the rest esquires, and 150 archers, whereof two parts to 
serve on horseback, the third on foote, should serve the king from the 
day hee should bee ready to set sayle for France, taking for himself 4s. 
for every knt. ; for every esquire Is. ; and for every archer 6d. p^r diem. 
This was the usual meanes whereby the kings in those times furnished 
their armyes with men of value ; and it was counted no dishonorable 
thing for persons of honour upon this kinde of traffick to make themselves 
an advantage ; indeed, it was in those martial times the trade of the 
nobility and great men." Speaking of the French wars. Speed tells of 
the king despatching " the Earle of Dorset and the Lord Clifford with 
twelve hundred horse and foot unto Paris, to relieve the Duke of Exeter, 
who was straightned of victuals by the Daulphinois, that harrased the 
Country adjoyniug." This lord was a Knight of the Order of the 
Garter, to which honour the king elected him on account of his faithful 


conduct and signal service. He was killed at the siege of Meaux, 1422, 
when only thirty-three years of age, and was buried " apud Canonicus 
de Boulton," (Bolton Abbey). His wife outlived him many years, 
marrying for her second husband Randolph Neville, Earl of West- 


Eighth Lord of Skipton. 

This lord was born in 1415. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of 
Thomas Lord Dacre, of Gillsland, and he had issue four sons and four 
daughters. One of the latter was married at the age of six yeai's to the 
son of Sir William Piumpton. This husband dying, she was at the age 
of twelve re-united, being married to her deceased husband's brother. 
Such a union was then allowable : they had not the nice scruples and 
distinctions of modern life. Tliis lord excelled as a soldier. While he 
was esteemed by his sovereign he was popular with his peers. " Hee 
followed, as neare as hee could, the pattern of Robert the first Lord of 
Skipton, that while hee kept in favour with the king yet lost not his 
interest in the nobility." In the French wars he emulated the deeds of 
his father. He was present at the siege of Pontoyse (1439). Referring 
to the French king a chronicler says : — " King Charles was now fallen 
into dislike with his people, but to redeeme his credit hee attempts the 
recovery of Pontoyse (a towne neere to Paris) which the Lord Clifford 
had not long before surprised by stratageme and money (an ordinary 
meanes as then for the expugnation of places) and comes in person to the 
enterprise. There attended upon him for that service about ten or 
twelve thousand men. The Lord Clifford is within, and makes a brave 
defence." The strategem of Loi'd Clifford's was a very ingenious one. 
The ground being covered with snow, he arrayed his men in white and 
so approached the fortress unobserved. On the outbreak of the Wars of 
the Roses in 14.55, Lord Thomas, then in his 41st year, threw in his 
power and influence with the Lancastrians, but his partizanship was of 
short duration. At the battle of St. Alban's, the first of a long and 
blood series, he fought side by side with his uncle the Earl of Northum- 
berland (Hotspur's son), and with him was slain. " The losse fell 
lamentably upon King Henries side," says an old historian, " for besides 
the Duke of Sommerset, there were slaine the ICarles of Northumberland 
and Stafford, the L. Clifford, with sundry worthy Knights and Esquires, 
of which forty and eight were buried in Saint Alban's." In the 
English Clironicle published by the Camden Society in 1856, occurs this 
passage in relation to the battle of St. Alban's : — *' Thanne came the 


kyng cute of the abbey wyth his baner dysplayed into the same strete, 
and duke Edmond wythe hym, and the duk of Bokyngham, the ei'le of 
Northumbrelonde, and the lorde Clyfforde, and the lorde Sudeley 
beryng the kynges baner ; and there was a sore fyghte, as for the tyme, 
and there at h^ste was slayne the sayde duke Edmond, the erle of 
Northumbrelond, o.nd the lorde Clyfforde." The red rose was trampled 
under foot, but for a time only. 

The third son of this Clifford, Sir Robert, barely escaped death on the 
scaffold for complicity in the Perkin Warbeck plot. Hall and Stow 
both give an account of the king's attempt to arrest him. Though Sir 
Robert was pardoned, " he was not after y* in so great favour, nor so 
esteemed with the kyng, as he had been in tymes past, because he was 
blotted and marked with that cry me and offence." 

Lord Thomas Clifford is frequently referred to in Shakespere's King 
Henry VL 


Ninth Lord of Skipton. 

The sword that fell from the hands of Thomas Lord Clifford on the 
field of St. Alban's was snatched up by his son John, who prosecuted 
the struggle of which that battle was but the prelude with bitterest 
zeal. One of his deeds has left a stain upon his name which time 
will never obliterate. Lord John Clifford was born April 8th, 1430 
or 1435, for opinion is divided between these years. He married 
Margaret,* only daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Bromflete, Baron 
of Vescy, who, surviving him, married as a second husband Sir 
Lancelot Threlkeld, of Threlkeld, in Cumberland. It was by this 
marriage of Lord John Clifford that the title of Baron de Vescy was 
brought into the family, and the Londesborough estates were added to 
an already large domain. 

This Clifford showed himself a devoted Lancastrian, for natural zeal 
was intensified by the death of his parent. The king was not slow 
to bring his services into requisition. " King Henry for his part," 
observes Speed, " though nothing so warlike, yet thought it best policy 
to imploy such leaders as desired revenge against the house of Yorke : 
such were the Duke of Sommerset, the Earle of Northumberland, and 

* "John Lord Clifford married Mary, daughter and heir of Henry Lord Vescie."— ilf^. 
Collection, Eshton Hall. 


the Lord Clifford, whose fathers had been slaine in the first battell of 
S. Albans, which last, though in degree the least man, yet sought to 
raise his fame with the first." The old chronicle published in 1856 
by the Camden Society, dealing with the year 1458, says: — "After- 
warde, this same yere, was holde a counseylle at Westmynster aboute 
Shroftyde, to the whiche came the yong lordes whoos fadres were 
sleyne at Seynt Albonys ; that ys to sey, the duke of Somerset, the 
erle of Northumberlond, and his brother lord Egremount, and the lorde 

Clyfforde The whiche after good deliberacione and 

avysement yaf this awarde and arbitrement : that x\\li. of yerely rente 
shulde be amorteysed and founded in for euermore by the sayde duk 
of York and the erles, in the abbey of Seynt Albons, where the forseyde 
lordes so slayne were buryed, for to pray for theyre soules and for the 
soules of alle tho that were slayne there. And ouer this the sayde 
duk of York and the erles shulde pay to the duke of Somerset and 
to hys moder, to the erle of Northumberlond, to the lorde Egremont, 
and to the lorde Cly fiord a notable snmme of money, for recompens 
of theyre faders dethe, and for wronges done vnto theym." 

The Yorkists followed up the battle of St. Alban's with other impor- 
tant successes. At Bloreheath and Northampton the Lancastrians were 
worsted, and it seemed as though they were destined to receive unvary- 
ing defeat, for a second time the king had been captured. For his 
release Queen Margaret raised an enormous army, numbering no fewer 
than 20,000 men, in the north, and the Duke of York, whose force 
did not amount to a quarter of that sti'ength, threw himself into 
Sandal Castle. Approaching "Wakefield in December of 1460, the 
Queen challenged her enemy, and acting upon what he termed motives 
of honour, and against the wishes of his experienced advisers, the Duke 
quitted his stronghold, and took the field. "All men," said he, "would 
cry wonder, and report dishonour, that a woman had made a dastard 
of me, whom no man could even to this day report as a coward ! And 
surely my mind is rather to die with honour than to live with shame ! 
Advance my banners, in the name of God and of St. George!" The 
Queen had divided her army into three portions. The Duke of 
Somerset commanded the attacking force, while Lord Clifford and the 
Earl of Wiltshire each had charge of a strong reserve, concealed from 
the main body. In this way the Duke of York was deceived, for no 
sooner had he advanced into the field and begun attack than the 
ambushes rose and cut off" retreat. Thus surrounded, his army was 
literally hacked to pieces, and he, with all his chief leaders, was slain, 


And now Clifford perpetrated a deed of most atrocious cruelty. The 
Duke of York's son, young Edmund, Earl of Rutland, had accompanied 
his tutor to view the battle. Aspall, such was the tutor's name, was 
hurrying from the bloody scene when he saw the hopes of the Yorkists 
entirely gone, and just as he led his charge into the town Lord Clifford 
rode up. Struck with the youth's noble bearing, he asked the tutor 
his name. " The young gentleman dismayed," says a chronicler, " had 
not a word to speak, but kneeled on his knees cravyng mercy and 
desiring grace, both with holding up his hands and making a dolorous 
countenance, — for his speech was gone for feare." "Save him," said 
the tutor, " he is a Prince's son, and peradventure may do you good 
hereafter !" These words were enough for the heartless Clifford : and 
bitter, rancorous memories of St. Alban's filled his breast as he beheld 
before him the son of his father's murderer. "By God's blood," said 
he, a gleam of fierce devilry in his eye as he drew his dagger before 
the lad's face, " thy father slew mine, and so will I thee, and all thy 
Tcin !" With that he plunged the steel into young Rutland's heart, 
and as he withdrew the reeking blade he turned to the chaplain and 
said with a scornful leer, " Go, bear him to his mother, and tell her 
what thou hast seen and heard ! " Well might the old chronicler pen 
the words, " For this act the Lord Clifforde was accompted a tyraunt, 
and no gentleman." It was a black deed: and ^^Black-faced Clifford" 
is a title not unjustly bestowed. The dramatist of Stratford -on-A von 
has drawn a vivid picture of the scene in his Henry VI. Rutland 
speaks, as the soldiers are approaching : — 

" Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands? 
Ah, tutor, look where bloody Clifford comes ! 

Enter Clifford and Soldiers. 

Clifford. — Chaplain, away : thy priesthood saves thy life : 
As for the brat of this accursed duke, 
Whose father slew my father, he shall die ! 
Tutor. — Ah, Clifford ! murder not this innocent chUd, 
Lest thou be hated both of God and man !" 

The youth pleads with Clifford to spare his life. " Gentle Clifford," 
" Sweet Clifford," he calls him. 

Clifford. — " In vain thou speak'st, poor boy ; my father's blood 

Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter." 

Again Rutland pleads — 

" I never did thee harm : why wilt thou slay me? 
Clifford.— Thy father hath. 
Rutland, — But 'twas ere I was born." 


But Clifford is obdurate, and at once he plunges his blade into the 
lad's heart. In several places Shakespere represents Clifford as vowing 
to avenge the death of his father at St. Alban's. Standing before the 
dead body of his parent, he says : — 

. . . . " Even at this sight 
My heart is turn'd to stone ; and while 'tis mine 
It shall be stony. York not our old men spares ; — 
No more will I their babes ; tears virginal 
Shall be to me even as the dew to fire ; 
And beauty, that the tyrant oft reclaims, 
Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax. 
Henceforth I will not have to do with pity ; 
Meet I an infant of the House of York, 
Into as many gobbets will I cut it 
As wild Medea young Absyrtus did : — 
In cruelty will I seek out my fame ! " 

The murder of Young Rutland was not the only act of barbarity 
committed by Lord Clifford at the battle of Wakefield. Leland says : 
— " The Lord Clifford for killing men was called ' The Boucher ' " 
(butcher). After the fight was over, Clifford went in search of the 
body of the Duke of York, whom he knew to have been slain. And 
again he tarnished his name by a deed of gross savageness. He found 
the body, and with one stroke he severed its head, upon which he 
placed a paper crown. Fixing then the hideous trophy upon a pole, he 
had it borne to the Queen. " Madam," said he, " your war is done ; 
here I bring your king's ransom !" The head was, with others, placed 
over the gates of York. 

It is true that Clifford has more than one apologist, and that some 
historians discredit the story of young Rutland's murder. One 
remarks : — " The Earle of Rutland (a younger sonne to the Duke 
of Yorke), beeing about 1 2 yeeres old, was slaine by the Lord Clifford 
(who over-tooke him flying) in part of revenge for that the Eai'le's 
father had slaine his. A deed which worthily blemished the Author ; but 
who," adds the historian, " can promise anything temperate of him- 
selfe in the heat of martiall fury ; chiefly where it was resolved not to 
leave any branch of Yorhe line standing ; for so doth one make the 
Lord Clifibrd to speake." 

Very soon Clifford's end came. The battle of Wakefield, which 
resulted so successfully for his partizans, was fought upon the last 
day of 1460, but on the 29th of March, 14G1, the Yorkists were 
again triumphant on the field of Towton. On the day before that of 
the battle Clifibrd was mauoouvering with his troops near Castleford, on 


the banks of the Aire. Here, having taken off his helmet for a brief 
space, an arrow, shot by an unseen archer, pierced his throat, and he 
fell. Where he was buried cannot be said with any degree of certainty; 
but tradition has it that his body was thrown into the common 
tomb of the untitled slain. In his account of the skirmishes which 
preceded the battle of Towton, Speed says that Clifford, to allow no 
chance of increasing his fame to pass by, " so suddenly charged upon 
the Troupe appointed for Ferribrig, that the Lord Fitzwater, unarmed 
(onely with a Pollax in his hand), came hastily to the Brigge, thinking 
that a fray had beene among his owne Souldiers, where, with the 
Bastard of Salisbury, he and many of his men were slaine by the 

enemy The valiant Lord Fauconbridge, fearing lest this 

beginning would give an edge to the sequell, got over the River at 
Castleford, three miles from the Bridge, meaning to inclose the takers 
on their backes, which Clifford perceiving, sought to avoyde, and whether 
for haste, heate, or paine, put off the gorget hee wore, when suddenly 
an arrow without an head, shot from the Bow of some layde in ambush, 
pierced thorow his throat, and stucke in his necke, which set a period 
unto his life." The estates of John Lord Clifford (along with those 
of many other Lancastrian nobles), were confiscated the same year, and 
were granted in 1465 to Sir William Stanley, and upon his death in 
14:76 to Richard Duke of Gloucester, who afterwards ascended the 
throne of England as Richard III. Cliffoi'd's young children were sent 
away for safety after the forfeiture of the estates, and the heir, Henry, 
lived as a shepherd among the hills of Cumberland until his thirtieth 


Tenth Lord of Skipton. 

Of this Lord it is unnecessary to speak here, as he has been included 
among Skipton Worthies, who form the subject of a later chapter. 
He was installed into the ancestral estates in 1485, and he enjoyed 
possession of them until 1523, when he died at Barden Tower, v/here 
he resided. 


Eleventh Lord of Skipton and First Earl of Cumberland. 

No stronger contrast could well be imagined than that presented by 
the life of the last Clifford and that of his son Henry, born 1493. The 
one was quiet and retiring in disposition, anxious to live undisturbed, 
and peaceably with every one, and content to be absent from that gay 


position in society which his social standing offered to him. The other, 
in his younger years at any rate, pursued a life of reckless extravagance 
and dissipation. Henry Clifford had been brought up in the company 
of the Prince of Wales, and the association proved an unfortunate 
one for him. Whether or not his recklessness was the outcome of a 
"narrow father's" stinginess or "the influence of a jealous mother," 
is a question upon which everyone must form his own opinion : Whit- 
taker thinks that it was. Granted that his opinion is correct, it is 
still but slight palliation of the infamous misconduct of which the 
old Lord complains in the following letter to a privy councillor : — " I 
doubt not but ye remember when I was afore you with other of the 
King's highnesses councel, and ther I shewed unto yow the ungodly 
and ungudely disposition of my sonne Henrie Clifforde, in suche wise 
as yt was abominable to heare yt; not onlie disobeyinge and despy- 
tyinge my comaundes, and threatening my servaunts, sayiuge that yf 
ought came to mee he shold utterlie destroye al, as apeireth more 
likelie in strikyng with his own hand my pore servaunt Henrie Popeley, 
in peryl of dethe, w'ch so lyeth, and is lyke to dye ; bot alsoe spoiled 
my houses, and feloniously stole away my propre goods, w'ch was of 
grete substance, onlie of malyce, and for maynteinyng his inordinate 
pride and ryot, as more speciallie dyd apere when he dep'tyd out of 
y^ corte and com into y^ contrie, aparellyd himself and hys horse in cloth 
of golde and goldsmyth's wark, more lyk a duke than a pore baron's 
Sonne as hee ys. And more over I shewyd untoe yow at that tyme 
his daylie studyng how he myght vitterlye destroy me hys pore Fader, as 
wel by slaunders shamful and daungerous as by daylie otherwyse 
vexyng and inquyetynge my mynde, to the shortenynge of my pore 
lyfe. And notwithstand'g y^ p'misses I by y^ kinge's comaunde, and 
yo'r desier, have sithens geffen unto him xlI. and over that my blessyng 
upon hys gude and lawful demeanor, and desyring alsoe y* hee shuld 
leave y® daungerous and evyll consaille of certain evyll disposyd p'sons, 
as wel yonge gents as oth'rs, w'ch have before this geffen hym 
daungerous conseille, whose conseilles he dailie followeth ; and wher 
I shewed unto y® kynge's grace and yow that yf his shamful disposi- 
ciouns were not lokyd upon, and something promysed by his Hyghness, 
to bring hym to drede (as y^ begyning of all wisdome ys to drede God 
and hys prynce), he sholde bee utterlie undone for ev'r, as wel bodilie 
as ghostlie, as apeiryth at large, not onlie by y'^ encrese of hys evyl 
disposiciouns, but also sekyng further to gi-etc lordes for meintenaunce, 
wherein he hath taken more boldness, sayinge that he shal cast downe 
one of my servants that be nigh unto mee, though they bee in my 


p'sence ; and yet moreover he in his countree makyth debate betweine 
gentilmen, and troblith divers housys of religioun, to bring from them 
ther tythes, shamfully betyng ther 'tenaunts and s'vauts in such wyse 
as some whol townes are fayne to kepe the churches both nighte and 
daye, and dare not com att ther own housys." 

This is, indeed, a sad tale of family disagreement; but there is, 
happily, a brighter side to the picture. With years Clifford seems to 
have sobered down a good deal, and there is reason to believe that the 
father lived to see some degree of reformation in the habits of his 
wayward son. Henry married as his first wife Margaret, da.ughter 
of George Talbot, fourth Earl of Shrewsbury, and for his second 
Margaret, daughter of Henry Percy, fifth Earl of Northumberland. 
By the latter alliance the lands in Craven known as the Percy Fee 
were brought into the Cliff'ord family. Clifford succeeded his father as 
Lord of the Honour of Skipton in 1523, and three years later he was 
created Earl of Cumberland. Hall thus alludes to the occasion of 
Lord Clifford's elevation : — " You shall understande the King in his 
freshe youth was in the chaynes of love with a faire damosell called 
Elizabeth Blount, daughter of Sir Jhon Blunt, Knight, whiche damosell 
in syngyng, daunsyng, and in all goodly pastymes exceded all other, 
by the whiche goodly pastymes she wan the Kynges harte; and she 
again showed hym suche favor that by hym she bare a goodly manne 
child of beutie like to the father and mother. This child was well 
brought up, like a Prince's child, and when he was vi yere of age, 
the Kyng made hym Knight and called hym lord Henry Fitz Roy, 
and on Sondaie, beyng the xviii dale of June, at the Manor or place 
of Bridewell the saied Lorde, ledde by twoo Erles, was created Erie of 
Notyngham, and then he was brought backe again by the saied twoo 
Erles, then the Dukes of NorfFolke and Suffolk led hym into the 
great chamber again, and the Kyng created hym Duke of Richemond 
and Somerset, and the same dale was the lorde Henry Courtenay, Erie 
of Devonshire, and cosyn germain to the Kyng, created Marques of 
Excester, and the lorde Henry Brandon, sonne to the duke of SufiFolk, 
and the Frenche Queue, the Kynges sister, a childe of twoo yere old, 
was created Erie of Lincolne, and Sir Thomas Manners, lord Ross, 
was created Erie of Rutlande, and sir Henry Clifford ivas created Erie 
of Gmnherlande, and the lorde Fitz Water Sir Robert Radclif was 
created Viscount Fitz Water, and Sir Thomas Bullein, threasorer of 
the Kynges household, was created Viscount Rocheforde, and at these 
creacious were kept greate feastes and disguisynges." 


In Dods worth's time a record of the expenses incident to Cliiford's 
journey to London when he was created an earl remained in the Castle, 
and the antiquary made a copy. Since the copy was taken the original 
has disappeared. 

The following is an extract from this interesting record. It shows 
the costliness of an expedition to the capital nearly four centuries ago 
when undertaken by persons of position, and also the equipage then 
considered necessary : — 

" My lord's coste from Skipton to London, and att London, att his lordeshipp 
creat'on in Com' anno xvn Henry VIII. 

My lord's expence") First paid for my lord's expence, and 33 his servants, riding 
riding to London. Vfrom Skipton to London, as apperith by the houshoulde books, 
^ vnl. xvs. id. 

Costs at my lord's ") Item, paide for the expence of my lord's house att London, for 

house att London. Vfive weeks and one daye, in June and July, Ao xvn Henry VIII. 

^ with horses' meat and f ewell, and all other charges, with all other 

necessaryes thereunto belongyng, with ins. xid., wyne 

ins., cheries iid., rishes ivd., thred id., sakket ivd,; Xhvil. viis." 

Whitaker concludes that the cavalcade would comprise six and thirty 
horses, and thus that the cost per man and horse daily during the five 
days the journey would occupy would be lOd. of the money of the period. 
The items included in "My Lord's Robes and Apparell" are numerous. 
A few only can be given : — 

" For 16 yerdes of Russet velvet, doble, after il. us. viiid. the yerde, xxviZ. lis. vid. 
Item, for a girdle to my lord, is. vd. 

Item, to Edw. Radclyffe, for byenge sherts to my lord, il. ills. ivc^. 
Item, for velvett shoes to my lord, lis. 
Item, for 2 French capps to my- lord, viiis. viilcZ. 
Item, for my lord's sweard, to the cutler, xiiis. ivd. 
Item, paid for a pair of black shoes, and a paire of black slipp's, for my lord, 

b't by Edw. Radcliffe, is. vid. 
Item, paid for a chape of silver, gilted, for my lord's swerde, ins. 
Item, a shotynge glove, ivd. 
Item, a dozen and a halfe brede arrow shafts, ins. 

Item, paid for a home to my lorde, J 

Item, paid for flewynge the said home with two ounces and 3 quatrons [ xviiis. 

silver, aft' 6s. 8d. the ounce and 4d. les at all ) 

Item, paid for a grene sasshe, &c, ins. rvd." 

The total cost of my lord's outfit was £87 5s, 3d., which, brought to 
its modern value, is a very considerable sum. Unsparing in the matter 
of self-incurred expense, the earl was in other things illiberal. My 
lord's wine consumption during the five weeks does not appear to have 
been large. The rushes, for which 4d. was paid, were doubtless for use 


on the floors of Derby House, his residence in London : such was the 
expedient carpets replaced. It was customary in that day, and for 
neai-ly three hundred years subsequently, to strew the earthy-floor of 
churches with rushes, whence came the annual observance known as 
"rush-bearing." To continue : — 

" Item, for 12 napkins, dy'p', viis. viiid!." 

A proof of the antiquity of this table accessory. 

" Item, paid for liv'ais for my lord's servants, xyI. ixs. 
Item, for liv'ay hose, ml. xviiis. ivd. 
Item, for silver, gold, and satten, for the', xviis. ivd." 

My lord's servants were evidently re-habited. The Craven noblemen 
must enter the metropolis with due dignity. 

" Item, to the p'son of Giseley, for his liv'ey, xiiis. ivd." 

It would be interesting to know who this ' parson of Guiseley,' whose 
livery cost 13s. 4d., was. A parson in livery seems a curious accom- 
paniment of the earl's retinue. 

His charities during his journey and residence in London amounted 
to the noble sum of two shillings and a penny ! But perhaps it was 
071 principle that he was so chary in disposing alms. Many people 
even now-a-days so act. 

" Item, for strey (straw) to bedds, vnic^. 
Item, to a phesicion at Westminster, for seying my lord's water, ivd. 
Item, in reward to Clarencieux for the fees of the heralds at my lord's creac'on, xl. 
Item, to a servant of thabbot of Waltham that brought a buk to my lord, iiis. ivd. 
Item, to a freire that song masse afore my lord, ivd. 
Item, to a servant of my lord of Westm'land that brought my lorde a hound, 

Ills. ivc^. 
Item, to my lord Derbies minstrells, ins. ivd." 

The minstrels were popular in those days, and their profession was 
accounted a very honourable one. 

" Item, p'd to Pemberton for a falcon, ll." 

This price was high ; half the value of the earl's best horse. 

" Item, delivered to Stephen Tempest, for the cost of my lord's servants at Grene- 
wich, IS. xd. 
Item, p'd to Lawrence Hammerton and his servant, for the burd-wages, for five 
days, after sixpence upon the day every of them, vs." 

This Stephen Tempest was one of the Broughton family, and 
Lawrence Hammerton was of Hellifield Peel. The entire expenses 


of the journey, directly and indirectly incurred, amounted to £376 9s., 
or about £1500 present value. 

For the honour of earldom conferred upon him, and for the addi- 
tional favour bestowed seven years later by his sovereign when he 
received the Order of the Garter, the earl made ample return. In 
1536, during the rebellion known as the " Pilgrimage of Grace," Earl 
Henry held out for the King in his castle at Skipton when all other 
northern strongholds had surrendered, some of them ungallantly, with- 
out the striking of a single blow. An account of this heroic defence 
appears elsewhere. Some years before this Cumberland had commanded 
in several Scotch expeditions. Upon the dissolution of the monasteries 
he acquired the estates of the priory of Bolton at a very low valuation. 
He died, at the age of forty -nine years, April 22nd, 1542, and was 
buried in the vault at Skipton. In his will are several very curious 
provisions. " Itm. — I wyll & requyre my ex'ors that a yerlie obit be 
hade & mayde for ever in the churche of Skypton ; and one cs. land, 
which I have late purchased in Crakhou, shal defraye y® charge." " It'. 
— I will that ev'y curate w'thin Westmoreland and the deanery of 
Craven and elsewhere wher I have any land in England, doe cause a 
masse of requiem and dirige to be songe or saide for my soul w'thin 
every y^ p'ish church, and they to have for doing therof vis. viiid. 
or soe much therof as my ex'ors shall think fitt, the remaynder to be 
given to the poore." Henry had by his second wife six children — 
two sons, Henry, his successor, and Ingram, and four daughters. This 
Clifford has been conjectured by several writers to be the hero of the 
well-known ballad " The Not-browne Mayd." But the identity is more 
than doubtful. Robert Story, the Gargrave poet, has a drama, with 
the title "The Outlaw," which is founded upon the early career of 
Earl Henry. It was published in 1839. 


Twelfth Lord of Skipton, Second Eakl of Cumberland. 

He was born in 1517, and at sixteen years was created Knight of 
the Bath. At twenty he married Eleanor (daughter and co-heiress 
of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, by Mary Queen Dowager of 
France,* daughter of Henry VII.), who died 1547, and was buried 

* "Mary, the third blossome of the Imperial! Rose-tree of England, was first Wife to 
Lewis King of France, who lived not long after, and died without Issue by her. Her second 
Husband was that Martiall and pompous Gentleman Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolke."— 


in Skipton church. Living in comparatively quiet times, he had no 
opportunity of showing the military skill which distinguished so many 
of his ancestors. When, however, the Earls of Northumberland and 
Westmorland rebelled, he with Lord Scrope defended Carlisle against 
them. Judging from the following letter, sent to him by Edward 
Earl of Derby, Earl Heniy must have been a most amiable man : — 
" Since your great occasions of business and the foulnes of the wayes 
depryved me of my expected hapynes of seeing you and my 
cosine until the next spryng, I can noway better satisfy myself 
then by salutyng you as oflFten as I can send, or hear of anye 
messenger; for your worth hath made me so much yours, as 
I desier nothyng more then to have the means to manyfest myself 
for ever, — Your most constand Frynd and Cosine," &c. The earl's 
royal marriage necessitated very large expenditure, and he was com- 
pelled to sell certain of his lands. Upon his lady's death, however, 
he withdrew from court to his castle at Skipton, and managed to 
acquire his former position of affluence. Some time about 1550 
"the earl fell into a languishing sickness, and was reduced to such 
an extreme state of weakness that his physicians thought him dead. 
His body was already stripped, laid out upon a table, and covered 
with a herse-cloth of black velvet, when some of his attendants, by 
whom he was greatly beloved, perceived symptoms of returning life. 
He was once more put to bed, and by the help of warm clothes 
without and, cordials v/ithin gradually recovered. But for a month or 
more his only sustenance was milk sucked from a woman's breasts, 
which restored him completely to health, and he became a strong 
man." Henry married as his second wife Anne, daughter of William 
Lord Dacre, of Gillsland, by whom he was outlived about ten years. 
Lady Anne Clifford says of him that ''he had a good library, was 
studious in all manner of learning, and much given to alchemy." 
After gay society he evidently had no yearning, for after the death of 
his first wife he only went to court three times, and these were very 
exceptional occasions. One was the coronation of Queen Mary, another 
was the marriage of his daughter Margaret to the Earl of Derby, and 
the third was a visit to Queen Elizabeth shortly after her accession to 
the throne. Upon the slab at the head of the tomb of Henry the 
first earl, in Skipton church, are brasses representative of this earl, 
his second countess, and his children. Among the Family Papers at 
Bolton are a number of original letters written by this earl. Some 
are dated from his "Lodge at Barden," others from his "Castell at 
Skipton," and others from "Bromeham Castell." He died in 1570. 


It was for the reception of this earl's high-born wife, Lady Eleanor 
Brandon, that the great gallery — the eastern portion — of Skipton Castle 
was erected. 


Thirteenth Lord of Skipton, Third Earl op Cumberland. 

Of this adventurous earl an account appears elsewhere. He was 
born in 1558, and died 1605. He was a son of the foregoing earl, and 
was father of the Countess of Pembroke. 


Fourth Earl of Cumberland. 

He was brother to the last earl, at whose death, consequent upon 
the failure in the male line, litigation, which lasted some thirty-seven 
years, began. Francis assumed the title and entered upon the estates. 
He was born October 13th, 1559, and married Grisold, daughter of 
Thomas Hughes, of Uxbridge, Middlesex, who lived during her wedded 
life at Londesborough, where she died in 1613. Earl Francis appears 
to have been of easy-going disposition, and beyond his improvidence 
little can be charged upon him. He lived to see his eighty-second year. 
For the last twenty years of his life his son Henry had charge of his 
affairs. He died 1641. I copy the following entry from the Skipton 
parish register : — 

1641, January. — "The 28 of this month departed this life the Riglit hoimorable 
Francis Earle of Cumberland, lord of the honnor of Skiptonn in Craven, 
&c. , and was solemly Buried in the valte in Skiptonn Church w'th his moste 
nouble Ancestors." 

The following letter was addressed about 1610 to Countess Grisold, 
by Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, on the occasion of Henry Clifford's 
marriage with Salisbury's daughter Frances : — 

" Good Madam— 
" I have understood by so many wayes how well you have affected the match 
betwene my lord Clifford and my daughter, as I think it my part no longer to delay 
my thanks for the same ; for when I consider what he is in himselfe, both by birth 
and vertue, what love he hath and deserveth to have of all men, I must needs con- 
ceave he must be more to you, to whom he is the onely sonne ; and therefore my 
thanks the greater, in that you have bene so desirous to plant him into my stocks 
whome you have cause to hold so deere. More I cannot say, madame, at this tyme, 
but that I will love him, and cherish him as the aple of one of myne eyes. To your- 
selfe I will wishe long life, that wee may bothe see some branches of him to our 
comfort in our old dayes. And so remayne your ladyship's assured loving friend, 

"R. Salisbury." 


A little later the earl finds it needful to counsel his son-in-law against 
excesses on the occasion of a visit to Southern Europe. " My advise," 
he says, " is this, that you do avoyd occasion of heate by violent exer- 
cise or stay in y^ whottest clymate in y® hottest seasons, and that you 
remember your complexion is cholerick, and therefore wyne to be 
moderately drunk." 

Margaret, daughter of this Earl Francis, married Sir Thomas Went- 
worth, afterwards Earl of Strafford. Writing to his son a little time 
before this marriage, Earl Francis speaks very favourably of his son- 
in-law elect. He says : — " Mr. Wentworth is in earnest, and seemeth 
to be a very afFecc'onate suiter to y'r sister; he hath beene here 
[Londesborough] altogether for these three weekes past, and remaines 
here still : y'r sister is lykewyse therewith well pleased and contented. 
His father and I are agreed of all the conditions ; we shall onely want 
and wish y'r compaine at the marriage, which is, I thinke, not lyke 
to be long deferred. God blesse them." Henry Clifford was in Paris 
at the time this letter was written. 

Fifth (and Last) Earl or Cumberland. 

Earl Francis was succeeded by his son Henry, who was born in 
February, 1591. Lady Anne Chfford speaks well of him. "Earl 
Henry was endued with a good natural wit, was a tall and proper 
man, a good courtier, a brave horseman, an excellent huntsman, and 
had good skill in architecture and mathematics." He was also a poet, 
but the Lady must not have been aware of this accomplishment. 
Among other works he versified Solomon's Songs. Earl Henry was 
engaged in the disputes with the Scots which occurred in the years 
1638 and 1639. Whitaker remarks: — "As lord-lieutenant of the 
northern counties and governor of Newcastle, it was impossible for 
him not to take a part in the two disgraceful expeditions against 
Scotland. But he was now grown inactive, and probably did little 
more than his office compelled him to do." That Clifibrd was asso- 
ciated with the Scotch expeditions is shown by the following extract 
from the Household Book for 1639 (at Bolton) :—" About the 20th 
of February the yeare aforesaid his Lords'p my Lord Clifforde was 
commanded to goe in person to Carlile against the coming in of the 
Scotts, but by His Ma'ty's comission afterwards his Lord'p was 
required to goe as Gouvenor to Newcastle, where he arryved the last 


of the said month, and his L'p contynued there in His Maj'ty's service 
till the Kinge comanded him againe to Carlile, where he stayed till 
the pacification of the Scotts, which was till the end of July or ther- 

Respecting the operations against the Scots a letter included in the 
Fairfax Correspondence, and written by Sir F, Fairfax to his father 
at Denton, from Pem-ith, June 11th, 1639, may be quoted. Fairfax 
was with the English force there : — 

"We want ammunition and pay, having neither powder nor match, nor money 
from the treasury. I have wi-it to the Vice-President and often acquainted Lord 
Clifford, our general here, who endeavours in our supplies, and daily looks for it. 
I cannot write of any apparent danger threatened to these parts by the Scots ; yet 
now, upon coming over of some Irish forces, which are said to be landed, about 2000, 
for the carriage of whose provisions the whole country is called on, I think the Scots 
will draw to these quarters, and we called on." 

Writing from the same place seven days later, Sir Ferdinando 
says : — 

" We are so shut up among the mountains, as we hear nothing from any place unless 
by messenger sent purposely; nor is my Lord Clifford's intelligence for the most 
part of what is done in the King's army, but from York to London. We still rest 
where we first settled, and exercise the regiment every day, if the weather give 

leave The forces we have on this border are very small ; four hundred 

of well-disciplined Irish, commanded by Sir Francis Willoughby, and six hundred 
of this country's bands, commanded by Sir Philip Musgrave, which is all the foot. 
Besides this regiment these three counties are to find six hundred dragoons, under 
Colonel Trevor (whom most call Trafford), but not one of them under my Lord 
Clifford ; nor can he have his own troop from the army, which makes us think the 
State thinks little danger of the enemy entering this way, as seems by their prepara- 
tions, and neglect to pay us." 

A letter written still earlier in this year appears in the Vernon 
Papers,* wherein Sir Edward Vernon advises his sou Ralph (April 1, 
1639): — " My lord Clifford sent woai'd this morning to the king that 
the inhabitants of Carlile had left the towne, uppon a fright they tooke 
of the highlanders coming suddenly uppon them, but hee has put 300 
men into the towne, and they saye they are resolved to fight it out. 
The hilanders are in number 2500, and six cannon, as they heare." 

Before the outbreak of the Civil War, the Cliffords were very inti- 
mate with the Fairfax family. But upon the outbreak, their paths 
became widely divergent. In the Fairfax Correspondence, to which 
allusion has been made, several letters from this earl are given. The 

* Camden Society, 1852. 


following lively one was written some little time before 1627, though 
to what circumstance it is due I have no idea : — 

"To my worthy and most affectionate friend, Sir Thomas Fairfax. 

" Worthy Fathek Tristram, 

"I have read your pleasant lines, and if your footman wd have but staid I assure 
I wd have been as pleasant as ever I was in writing, but I will be shortly out of your 
debt in the same kind. 

" My brave old lad kicks at the gout ; and rest assured I wd not quit your company 
this summer for the fairest mistress on the other side Trent. Your footman desires 
despatch ; and though I am loth to break off my discourse with you, yet will I favour 
his legs f much as bid you abruptly farewell. 

"Yours, while he lives one hour, 

"Hen. Clifford. 
" Londesburow, this Sunday evening. 

"I shall put in your gold into the bank, and I hope I shall many years get the 
increase of it. My Lord stands by me while I write, and commands to tell you he is 
proud of his ranger." 

The subjoined epistle is to " The Lord Fairfax at Denton :" — 

"My much honoured Lord, — I am sorry the weather hath been so miserable as I 
could not wait upon you according to my desire and engagements, and now I am 
preparing to go to Mr. Mallory's the latter end of this week (a journey I have been 
undertaking ever since Michaelmas), so as what I have heard lately from London 
(which is but little) I present unto your lordship at this time. 

" It is now confidently affirmed that Tilly is recovered, and that he hath got as 
great an army as the King of Sweden, and I am persuaded they will not part this 
winter \vithout another battle. My Lord Hamilton, they say, doeth wonders in 
Silesia, but the i:)articulars I hear not. It is likewise voiced that the King of France 
hath routed lately six thousand of the Imperial forces sent to assist the King's brother 
in the Franche Compt^ ; but of this I have no great confidence. 

"At home there is a strong belief of removals of officers, which I account but a 
Hollandtide blast ; only this I believe that your lordship's noble friend and mine, 
my Lord of Newcastle, is not sent for to Court, but with an intention to settle him 
there, near his Majesty's person, or in some place of office before Christmas. His 
Majesty, they say, is resolved for Scotland this spring, and I am verily persuaded he 
wUl now perform it. 

"Your Lordship's friends and servants here are all in good health and present 
their loves and services to you, by the hand of me, 

"My Lord, 

"Your Lordshipp's most affectionate and faithful servant, 

"H. Clifford. 
" Skipton Castle, this 30th of November." [? 1638]. 

When the Civil War broke out Earl Henry heartily espoused the 
royal cause. Clarendon says of him : — " The Earl of Cumberland was 


a man of great honour and integrity, who had all his estate in that 
country [Yorkshire], and had lived most among them, with very much 
acceptation and affection from the gentlemen and the common people, 
but he was not in any degree active, or of a martial temper, and rather 
a man not like to have any enemies than to oblige any to be firmly 
and resolutely his friends." 

As the part played by the earl in the wars preceding the Common- 
wealth is related elsewhere, it is needless to refer to it here. He died 
at York in December, 1643, "of a burning fever," as his cousin, the 
Countess of Pembroke, writes. His burial is thus recorded in the 
Skipton parish register : — 

December, 1643. — "The laste of this month was intered in the valte in the 
church at Skipton the right honnarable Henry Earle of Cumberland, lord 
of Westmoreland, lord Vyiaonte, and Vessy, Acteoun, and Broomfieete, 
and lord of the honnor of Skiptonn in Craven." 

The Earl's wife was Frances, daughter of Robert Cecil, Earl of 
Salisbury, who survived him about three months. Borne down by sorrow, 
and by the care and anxiety which those troublous times brought her, 
the countess died at York on the 14th February, 1644, at the age of 50 
years. She was buried in York Cathedral. Of the intensity of her 
grief nothing perhaps could give stronger proof than the following 
remark with which she headed a record of accounts shortly before her 
death : — 

" 1643. — Disbursed since the 11th day of December, the yeare aforesaid, on w'ch 
day it pleased God to take the soule of my most noble lo. out of this miserable, 
rebellious age, I trust, to his eternall joyes." 

It was by the marriage of Earl Henry's daughter Elizabeth with 
Richard Boyle, Viscount Dungarvan (eldest son of the first Earl of 
Cork), afterwards Earl of Burlington, that a portion of tlie Clifford 
estates went to the family of Boyle. In this family the estates con- 
tinued for four generations, but on the death of Richard third Earl 
of Burlington, they fell to the family of Cavendish, by the marriage 
of the earl's daughter Charlotte with William fourth Duke of Devon- 
shire. A reference to the marriage of Earl Henry's daughter occurs in 
one of the Household Books now at Bolton Abbey : — 

" M.D.D.— The Third day of July in this p'sent yeare, 1634, my noble Ms Ms Eliz. 
Clifforde was marrj'ed unto Richard lo: Visscount dungarvan, sonne and hej're to the 
Earle of Corke, in the church or chappie w'thin Skipton Castle, by Mr. Francis 
Clever, Ba. of Diuinity, chaplayne in house w'h the Earle of Cumb. and the lo. 
Clifforde, unto whom God send a thousand millions of joys." 


Fourteenth ' Lord ' of Skipton. 

The life of this most estimable lady, the last of her name, is referred 
to in another place. Lady Anne was born January 20th, 1589, and 
died March 22nd, 1675, at the age of eighty-six years. She was 
twice married, 

A table showing the Cliffords who since the time of Robert de 
Clifford, the first grantee, have held the castle and honour of Skipton 
will be useful : — 

(1) Robert de Cliflford, b. 1274, d. 1314 = Matilda, dr. of Thomas de Clare, Earl of Gloucester. 

(2) Roger de Clifford, b. 1299, (3) Robert de Clifford, b. 1305, d. 1344= Isabel, dr. of Maurice, 
d. 1327. I Lord Berkeley. 

(4) Robert de Clifford, b. 1331, (5) Roger de Clifford, b. 1335, d. 1390 = Maud, dr. of Thomas 

d. 1352 = Euphemia, dr. of 

Ralph Lord Neville, 

of Middleham. 

Lord Beauchamp, 
Earl of Warwick. 

(6) Thomas de Clifford, b. 1364, d. 1392= Elizabeth, dr. of Thomas Lord Ross, of Hamlake. 

(7) John de Clifford, b. 1389, d. 1422 = Ehzabeth, dr. of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. 

(8) Thomas de CUfford, b. 1415, d. 1455 = Elizabeth, dr. of Thomas Lord Dacre, of Gillsland. 

(9) John de Clifford, b. 1430 or 1435, d. 1401 = Margaret, dr. of Sir Henry Bromflete, Baron of 

I Vescy. 

(10) Henry de Clifford, b. 1453, d. 1523 = (1) Anne, dr. of St. John of Bletsho. 

I (2) Florence, dr. of Henry Pudsey. 

(11) Henry de Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland, b. 1493, d. 1542 =(1) Margaret, dr. of George Tal- 
bot, Earl of Shrewsbury. 
=(2) Margaret, dr. of Henry Percy, 
I Earl of Northumberland. 

(12) Henry CUfford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, b. 1517, d. 1570 =(1) Eleanor, dr. of Charles Brandon, 

Duke of Suffolk. 
=(2) Anne, dr. of William Lord Dacre, 
I of GUlsland. 

(13) George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, b. 1558, d. 1605 = 
Margaret Russell, dr. of the Earl of Bedford. I 

(14) Francis Clifford, 4th Earl of Cumberland, b. 1559, d. 1641= 
Grisold, dr. of Thomas Hughes, of Uxbridge. I 

(15) Henry Clifford, 5th Earl of Cumberland, b. 1591, d. 1643= 
Frances, dr. of Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury. 

(16) Anne Clifford, b. 1589, d. 1675. 

(14th ' Lord ' of the manor 

of Skipton). 


Much need not be said of the succeeding owners of Skii^ton Castle. 
Lady Anne had by her first husband, the Earl of Dorset, two daughters, 
Margaret and Isabel. Margaret, the elder, in 1629 married John 
TuPTON, second Earl of Thanet, the issue of their union being six 
children. Earl John died in 1G64, and his Lady in 1676. Nicholas 
TuPTON, born 1631, succeeded to the earldom. His wife was Elizabeth, 
second daughter of Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington. Dying in 1679 
childless, the Earl was followed by John, his brother, to whom the whole 
of Lady Anne Pembroke's inheritance passed. He was born August 
7th, 1638, and died unmarried April 27th, 1680.* His successor was 
Richard Tupton, his brother, the fifth Earl of Thanet, born 1640, died 
1684. Thomas Tupton, another brother, was the next Earl. He was 
born August 30th, 1644. He obtained the additional title of Baron 
Clifford. His wife was Catherine Cavendish, daughter and co-heir of 
of Henry, Duke of Newcastle, who died 1712, after a married life of 28 
years. Earl Thomas during a great number of years proved himself a 
worthy follower of the good Countess of Pembroke. His liberahty was 
unbounded ; — the parish register speaks of him as " The good earl." 
He died July 30th, 1729. He was succeeded by Sackville, son of 
Sackville Tufton, his brother, who was thus the seventh Earl of 
Thanet. This Earl died December 4th, 1753, and was followed by 
another Sackville, born 1733. He married Mary, daughter of Sir John 
Sackville, in 1767, and died April 10th, 1786. He was followed by his 
son Sackville, born 1769, whose wife was Anne Charlotte Bojanovitz, 
a Hungarian lady of rank. The Earl died January, 1825, and was 
succeeded by his brother Charles, as tenth Earl of Thanet, born 1770, 
died unmarried 1832. The eleventh and last Earl was Henry Tupton, 
another brother, who was born January 2nd, 1775. He was Lord 
Lieutenant of Kent and Hereditary Sheriff of Westmorland. He was 
never married, and leaving no heirs at his death, which occurred June 
12th, 1849, the title became extinct, whilst the estates jjassed to Sir 
Richard Tupton, born 1813. This baronet married in 1843 Adelaide 
Amelia Lacour, a French lady, and had issue three sons and one 
daughter. He was naturalised in 1849, and in 1851 was created a 
•baronet. In 1859 he became High Sheriff of Kent, and in 1871 he died. 
Henry Jacques Tupton became the second baronet. He was born 4th 
June, 1844, and in 1872 he married Alice Harriet Argyll, second 

* " AprU 27.— The right Honnovall John Earle of Thcanett died in Skipton Castell, 
and his corps was imbohned and carried away from tlicnce to bo buried att Rcynham 
in Kent May ye 12th, in ye valt there amongc his ancestors." — Skipton Parish llc(jistcr. 




daughter of the Rev. Wilham Stracey, of Buxton, Norfolk. Sir Henry- 
was High Sheriff for Westmorland in 1874, and for Kent in 1878. 
In 1881 he became Lord Lieutenant of Westmorland, and the same 
year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Hothfield, of Hothfield, 

I » 11 11 It 1 II 1 II 11 n *t lu 11 II -n- 

* " " ■' " " " ■' " ■■ 'ff " " " 






jECORDS of the fifteenth century show that the honour of 
SkiiDton was divided into the three baiHwicks of Airedale, 
Malhamdale, and Kettlewelldale. Over each of these 
districts a person of influence was appointed. While the 
foresters accounted to the bailiffs, the bailiffs in their turn accounted 
to a ' receiver,' who had control of everything. The bailiwick of Aire- 
dale, or to retain old forms, Ayredale, remarks Whitaker, comprehended 
Skipton (the seat of the barony), Stretton, Thoralby, Bradeley, Feme- 
hill, Neweton, Okeworth, Moreton, Ridlesden, Wath and Wombwell, 
Kigheley, Lacok, Glusburne, Collinge, and Conondely. The bailiwick 
of Kettlewelldale included Eastby, Draughton, Berwick, Coningeston, 
Brynshale, Thorpe, Hawkswicke, Sutton, Halton-super-Montem, Rilston, 
Hetton, and Doxhill, an obscure hamlet near Hartlington. In the 
bailiwick of Malghdale were contained Conyngeston Cald, Ayreton, 
Broghton, Elslak, Calton, Essheton, Gayregraf, Scowsthorpe, Malghun, 
Hanlithe, Kigheley, Morton, Utley, Stoke, Bracewell, Helifeld, Rilston, 
and Otterburn. It will be noticed that in several instances places 
are named as in two bailiwicks. It may be assumed that difterent 
parts of these townships were under different jurisdictions. 

What was at that time known as the Forest of Skipton comprised 
the central part of Craven, an extent of more than 15,000 acres. 
It appears to have been at one time fenced.* An ancient subdivision 
was that of Elso. This name was applied to that tract of forest-land 

* " In the same year [1204] King John bestowed on him [Balilwin cle Betun] all the Lands 
and possessions of the Advocate of Betun, within the Realm of England. And moreover 


stretching from Crookrise to Flasby iind Eshton. Several of the parks 
of which we find mention in documents pertaining to Skipton Castle 
are modern creations. Others, however, are of very old date. Roger 
de CliiFord, the fifth lord of Skipton, for instance, obtained licence 
from King Edward III. "to make a park at Skipton and to enclose there 
500 acres of land," while mention of the Hawe Park is met with 
very early. The enclosure known as the Old Park is that to the north 
of the castle, and is probably that made by Roger de Cliflford. Then 
there were the New Park and Park George. 

It is interesting to reflect upon the vast alteration which has come 
over the aspect of the hills and valleys of Craven since the early 
ChfFords dwelt here. Alluding especially to Crookrise (or "stunted 
wood,"* a name in itself eminently suggestive) and the Flasby hills, 
Whitaker remarks : — " These rugged districts are now stripped of their 
woods, though the Compotus of Bolton and the survey [of 1434] 
represent them in the reigns of Edward the First and Second as far from 
destitute of timber. Modern incredulity, surveying the naked state of 
our moors and mountains at present, will scarcely be convinced by 
evidence that they were ever clothed with wood." Nevertheless, the 
fact remains. Story, the Gargrave Poet, is perhaps not wide of the 
truth when he says : — 

" There was a time when Craven saw 
From Bingley unto Oughtershaw 
One forest stretch o'er hill and dale 
Unlimited by wall or pale." 

Of the once extensive prevalence of forest we have proof in our place- 
names. Thus Eshton is ash-town, Bell-Busk the dwelling hy the wood, 
or the Wood of Baal. Oughtershaw is manifestly outer-shaw or wood. 
Then we have Appletreewick, Oakworth, Skiracks, Thornton, and 
Yockenthwaite, all of which have reference to trees. In the same 
manner our place-names tell us of the denizens of the forest in far-off 
days. Barden speaks of the wild hoar, Brogden of the hadger, Raygill of 
the roebuck. "I is as swift as is a raa^^ says Chaucer. Buckden 
obviously derived its name from being the lair of the huck, Tosside tells 

granted to him a Fair yearly to be held at his Lordship of Skipton in Yorkshire ; as also 
License to Afforest his Lands at Apeltrewyke, for two miles in length, &c. And likewise all 
his Lands in Craven, as the Boundaries thereof extend betwixt the same and the Lands of 
the Constable of Chester, for the length of five miles."— Dwr/daie's Baronage. 

* Such in all probability is the meaning of the word, and not the seeming one of crooked 
ascent. Chaucer uses the word rina for a single bush : — " As white as is the blossom on the 


of the tod or fox, Swiuden is sicme-valley. Hawkswick, ArnclifFe, and 
Nichtgale-riding (extinct) are suggestive of the hawk, the eagle, and the 
nightingale ; while of the great abundance of the otter we have proof in 
the word Otterburn. We have documental evidence that wolves ranged 
these hills at the late period of the fourteenth century, for the 
Compotus of Bolton records the giving of premiums to wolf-slayers : 
— " Cuidam qui occidit lupum." Those were exciting days, we may 
be assured, in which the first lords of Skipton lived. How many a 
pleasing picture can fancy draw of their ' mighty huntings,' when 
the wolf was their gallant quarry ! And, advancing to later times, 
in what stirring scenes must the Cliffords have taken part, when in 
the brief moments during which they could safely doff their armour, 
they sought sport in tracking the wild boar into the deep recesses 
of the forest : — 

" When Cliffords for a time hung by their arms, 
And lived secure amid their valley's charms, 
The deer and fox they seldom then pursued, 
But monsters that oft stained then' tusks with blood — 
To which the traveller feared to fall a prey, 
For mothers wept for children borne away." 

Thus Nicholson in his Lyre of JSbor. 

For several centuries after the Conquest the land was still unenclosed, 
with the exception that each ' toft ' had its separate ' croft ' of ground. 
As to the precise meaning of these words ' toft ' and ' croft ' there is 
variety of opinion. Whitaker observes : — " The last instance I have met 
with of the old toft and croft is in the year 1579. The most learned of 
of our etymologists — Spelman, Bishop Kennet, and Du Cange — have 
fallen short of the precise meaning of toft. Skinner alone has thrown a 
ray of light upon it — ' locus arboribus minusculis consitus ' — a tuft of 
trees — Gall., Touffe de Bois. But this gives only the literal, not the 
tralatitious sense of the word. A toft was certainly a homestead in a 
village, so called from the small tufts of maple, elm, ash, and other wood 
with which dwelling-houses were anciently overhung ; hence the local 
surnames Mapletoft and Eltoft, qr., Elmtoft." He adds — " Even now 
it is impossible to enter a Craven village without being struck with the 
insulated homesteads, surrounded by their little garths, and overhung 
with tufts of trees. These are the genuine tofts and crofts of our 
ancestors, with the substitution only of stone walls and slate to the 
wooden crocks and thatched roofs of antiquity." 

To the lords of Skipton accrued many privileges in right of their 
manor and castle. An old document in the castle says that to them 


belonged the jDiivilego "' of serving, executing, and returning all writs, 
processes, and mandates of the kings and queens of England executed 
within that honour and manor and the Liberty thereof (which Liberty 
so far as it extended was known by the name of Clifford's Fee) ; to 
be served and returned and executed by the bailiffs of the said 
manor only, and not by the bailiffs of the county of York or any 
bailiffs of any other franchise ;" so that Clifford's Fee was an 
independent Liberty and jurisdiction, and though it lay within "yet 
as to the purpose named above it was not esteemed to be part of the 
county of York ;" but the bailiffs and officers of the honour of Skipton 
always attended at the Assizes and Sessions " as the immediate officers 
to the same courts." 

An old privilege of Craven men is worthy of mention. By the 
Statutes of Labourers passed in the first half of the fourteenth century, 
servants were compelled to labour in their own parishes, and could not 
wander about the country in search of work. " The labourer was 
forbidden to quit the parish where he lived in search of better paid 
employment ; if he disobeyed he became a ' fugitive,' and subject to 
imprisonment at the hands of justices of the peace." The men of 
Craven appear to have been exempt from this harsh restriction. In a 
review of "A History of the Life and Times of Edward IIL," the 
Athenceum some years ago remarked : — " One bad sign of the times lies 
in the fact that soldiers were paid three times as much as agricultui-al 
labourers, namely sixpence a day, equivalent to nearly as many shillings 
now. Moreover labourei's could only toil in their own counties. But 
exception was made in favour of the men of Craven in Yorkshire, and the 
natives of Derbyshire, Lancashire, and Staffordshire, and of the Welsh 
and Scottish Marches, who had been accustomed from time immemorial 
to roam over the land in quest of field labour." 

From the Castle Evidences we learn some of the fines due from the 
tenantry of Craven in ancient days. From a document of the time of 
Henry VIIL, the following curious toll seems to have been levied 
in Crookrise and Skirack : — 

" Note, that theise customes hayh ben used tyme out of mynd, by ye report of K.ob. 
Garth, forster ther ; the whych sayeth that he in all his tyine, and his father afore 
him in yt office, always hayth taken the sayd customes : — 

" First, That ev'y bryde cumynge this waye shulde eyther gyve her lefte shoo or 
ins. ivcZ. to the forster of Crookryse, by way of custome or gaytcloys."* 

'"Crookrise Toll.— Customefi in Thorleby Moore or Skyracks payable to the ffoster of 
Crookrise :— 


One cannot help being struck by the inequality of the alternatives in 
this singularly ungallant toll. 

At this early period the lord of the manor was all-powerful. His 
coiu-ts governed the affairs of the manor, and all fines accruing thereto 
went to him. He obtained leave to hold fairs and markets at various 
places in his domain, and the tolls were dropped into his money-bags. 
Fortunately we have preserved a valuation of the Cliffords' estates in 
Craven at the time of their first occupation. It speaks of profits from 
Knight's Court and Liberty Court, of fines for lytsters, or dyers, of 
merchet* and leirwite,t and of profits of Halmotes. The services due 
from the tenants of the villages and small manors were in some respects 
different from those resident in the burgh of Skipton. Thus the tenants 
of Skibeden paid for the carriage of wood to the castle, for the carriage 
of victuals, for ploughing and harrowing, for the cutting of the corn. 
They also shared in the cost of thatching the bakehouse and brewhouse 
at Skipton Castle. Another rural service they were subject to was the 
gathering of nuts. By an inquisition taken at Skipton the 2nd April, 
1327 (1 Edward III.), it was found that there were certain customary 
tenants at Skibeden who paid two-pence yearly for every year at 
Christmas " for being quit from gathering Niitts in the wood called the 
" Hawe, by which it should seem that all the Nutts there growing were 
"formerly gathered there for the use of the lord by the tenants." 
The tenants of the manor of Silsden paid fines and were subject to 
services somewhat similar to those of their fellows of Skibeden. 
There were payments in respect of the carriage of wood from Holden 
to the castle, in respect of carriage of victuals, of ploughing and 
harrowing, of "shering of corne," thatching the bakehouse and 
brewhouse, &c. Four or five centuries ago lands at Silsden were 
subject to the following payments : — " In Christmas term every 
oxgang paid instead of carriage of wood to the castle [Skipton] 
id. In Easter term, instead of carrying the lord's provisions, vid. 
At Pentecost and Martinmas xiid In the term of St. Cuthbert, in 
autumn, for reaping corn at Holme and the grange of Skipton Castle, 

"That every bride comeing over Skirackes or Thorleby Moore shall either give her left 
shoo or 3s. 4(1. 

" Every Woolman comeinge that way with horses, loaden wth wooll shorn pay for every 
horse foot, 4d. 

" Every drove of . . . for Concourse and passage over ye sayd gTound should pay 3.s. 4d. 

" And every Hock or drove of shecpe, 3s. id."— Castle Evidences. 

' A marriage fine. t A fine for the punishment of fornication. 


by ancient custom, xviiic?. In Michaelmas term, for repairing the roof 
of the bakehouse and brewhouse in the castle, and of the Moot Hall in 
Skipton, together with the corn mill there, ivrf. And for the carriage of 
the lord's provisions as often as called upon, within the distance of xxx 
miles from the town, i\d. Lastly, for the talliage of every oxgang, ivd. 
In all IV5. id. for one oxgang." 

An ancient manorial custom was that the tenant paid every tenth year 
a year's rent "by way of gressome," and at the death of every tenant 
in possession the best living or dead chattel of the deceased was claimed 
by the lord as a heriot. This payment continued customary until a 
comparatively recent date : thus I read in 1693 of the lord of the manor 
receiving — 

" Of widdow Sawley, of Brunthwaite, as a hairiot on the death 
of William Sawley, her husband, one long table, being his 
best goods £1 1 6" 

From the fact of its being the centre of the barony, Skipton was a 
place of importance. It is a noteworthy circumstance that in old 
charters and deeds Skipton is invariably spoken of as a burgh or 
borough. In proceedings at Leet Courts held in last century it is so 
called. Yet the town had never a municipal government, nor did it 
ever return a representative to Parliament.* In early times Skipton 
was governed by reeves, or bailiffs, who held the name of burgh-reeves. 
Shire-reeve or sheriff is a similar combination. These officials were 
appointed half-yearly, and during each term of office nine courts, called 
" burgh-cortys," were held. The fines accruing to these courts were 
the right of the lord. 

Thei'e were in Skipton a town-hall and a tolbooth. The repairs of 
the former were done by the tenants of the adjacent manor of Silsden, 
who for that purpose paid a certain fine annually. The various fairs 
held at Skipton were also a fruitful source of income to the lords of 
the manor. 

It is evident that whenever the Clifibrds thought their rights were 
being infringed they endeavoured to assert their claims to the utmost. 
For frequent law-suits occurred between them and their neighbours or 
tenantry. For an example, early in the seventeenth century Sir John 

* In like manner Dodsworth, who visited Morton in 1621, says of that place, " Here hath 
been a mercate and borough town," by which he would mean that foi-merly, being as at 
Skipton under the protection of a castle, the inhabitants were styled burgeiims,— not that the 
town had ever been incorporated. 


Yorke of Gowthwaite became lord of the manor of Appletreewick, and 
he laid claim to free chase and warren there. Francis the then Earl of 
Cumberland resisted the claim, contending that Appletreewick was a 
member of the forest of Skipton ; " that the inhabitants dwelling on the 
prior of Bolton's land there did, both in the prior's time, and ever since, 
yearly pay Forster Gates to the bowbearer or tlie forester of the Forest 
of Skipton ; and also pay Forster Hens and Castle Hens, and do suit of 
court yearly at the Forest Court at Skipton. Also that the said earl 
and his ancestors have had their keepers at their wills, to range and 
view the deer within the town fields of Appletreewic j and have set 
courses and made general huntings on the commons, and through the 
fields and enclosures there." The respective dependents of these potent 
landlords shared their masters' hostile feelings, and physical force was 
at times resox'ted to. This appears from the following evidence taken 
in one of the trials of the cause between the Earl of Cumberland and 
Sir John Yorke : — 

" Examinacons taken att Bolton Bridge the nyneteenth day of June, in the one 
and twentieth yeare [1624] of the raigne of our most gratious sou'eigne Lord James, 
by the grace of God king of England, France and Ireland, defendor of the ffaithe, 
and of his raigne of Scotland the sixe and ffiftieth, before William Arthington, 
esquiie, Thomas Inglebie, and Michaell Hopwood, gent., by vertue of his ma'tie 
most gratious com. of ... to them and William Lowther, esquke, directed 
out of his Ma'es highe Court of Starr-chamber, directed in a cause here depending 
betwene the Right hoble ffrancis Earle of Cumberland compl'te and Sr John Yorke, 
knyght, and others, defen'ts. 

" Sir John Yorke, of Gowthwayte in Netherdale, in the countie of Yorke, knyght, 
aged 57 yeares, or therabouts, sworne and examined. 

"Hee did not conceave any displeasure againste anie the keepers and servantes 
of the saide Earle for disturbing him or his ffrends for killing or destroying of any 
deare within the mannor of Appletreewicke. For some yeares last paste hee hath 
in his owne righte kept a faire in Appletreewick about Sainte Lukes tide, wch hee 
hath contynued ever sithence hee was Lord of the mannor of Appletreewicke, and 
farther saithe that hee knowes not that the saide Earles servantes have usually 
bought any sheepe there for his Lo'p's provision, neyther is any toll paid by them, 
but saith hee hath heard by some of his servants or officers that formly there hathe 
toll beene paide for such sheepe as have beene bought for his Lo'pp, and that the 
same was paid to [Roger Habergham], but upon or by whome the same was paid 
hee knowes not. 

" Hee says that before the last faire att Appletreewicke hee nor any of his servantes 
to his knowledge did conspire that under color of demanding toll att that ffau-e of the 
saide Earles servants they should bee soundly beaten. Neyther did hee knows that 
the said toll would bee denyed. Hee did not with any long staves, bills, or other 
weapons lie in wayte of anye of the saide Earles servants as in the Bill is p'tended, 
for hee saithe hee was not att Appletreewicke att the tyme named. Hee saithe that 
he never knewe that the saide Earle by anye his servantes or officers did ever paie any 
toll for any sheepe bought att Appletreewicke to his Lo'pp's use, otherwise then was 


tould him by the said Roger Habergam as aforesaid, wch to his remembrance was 
long before these towe yeares last past, howbeyt hee saithe his servants tould him that 
about towe years last they did demand toll, but whether the same was paid or not he 
knowes not. He hath a charter for keepeing a faire at Apletreewicke, and the last 
faire there houlden hee kept the faire and did take toll by his servants as hee and his 
p'decessors have form'lie done, and not otherwise." 

Anthony Croft, of Skireholme, servant to Sii- John Yorke, aged 63 years, gave 
evidence, saying that he had not been " hindered from killing any deare, neyther did 
hee conceave any displeasure against the saide Earle or any of his servantes. Dureing 
the space of sixtie yeares last hee knowes there hath beene a faire kepte att Appletree- 
wicke about Saint Lukes tide, and hath heard that the saide Earle's servants have 
divers tymes boughte sheepe there for his Lo'pp's provision, but he never knewe anye 
toll paide for any sheepe bought to his Lo'p's use there. He saith that hee being 
bayliffe for Sr John Yorke did appoynte one Chapman to take toll neare to the 
townes end of Appletreewicke for sheepe bought att the ffaire, being the usuall place 
for that purpose, and that hee being p'sent with the saide Chapman when some of the 
saide Earle's servants came that waye with sheepe wch they saide they had bought att 
the saide ffaire for the said Earl, he did demand toll for the same sheepe soe bought. 
But the Earle's servants denyed to paie anye for that theye saide the said Earle was 
toll ffree, and this witness then willed them to shewe a charter or other matter 
whereby it might appeare that hee was toll ffree and they should passe, whoe refuseing 
to shewe anye hee, this deponent, and the saide Chapman did eyther of them take 
hould of one of the saide sheepe, wch sheepe the saide Earle's servants did p'sently 
take from them, but hee did not strike att any that did resiste, nor see anye stroke 

John Chapman, of Skireholme, "mynor, aged ffiftie towe yeares," gave evidence 
corroborative of the foregoing. 

Sir John Yorke appears to have fared badly in his dispute at law. 


I refer now to a service more extensively exacted from the tenants of 
the manor than were many of the foregoing. The soke-mill at Skipton, 
which stood upon the site of the present corn-mill on Chapel Hill, 
is referred to in the earliest surveys and grants. It is noticed in 
the valuation of the castle and manor of Skipton which was made 
in the third year of Edward II's. reign, 1310, and in all inquisitions 
taken upon the deaths of the successive lords and owners of the 
castle. The tenants within the manor of Skipton were bovmd at all 
times to have their corn ground at this mill, and for the grinding 
they paid toll, styled "mulcture-toll." When leases were granted by 
the lords of the manor, this service was invariably named. 
Thus in the year 1602 a certain house in Skipton, along with 
several closes of land, was granted by George Earl of Cumberland 
to one Francis Goodgion, at the yearly rent of £3 6s. 8d., and one 


of the conditions of the lease was that Goodgion should "grind or 
cause to be grinded all such corn and grain as should be by him, or 
his executors, or assigns, spent upon the premises, at the usual and 
accustomed mill of the said earl, his heirs, or assigns, at Skipton, and 
pay such toll and allowance for grinding of the same," &c. In another 
lease, granted in 1622, it is covenanted that the lessee shall ''do suit 
to court as other tenants and freeholders within the manor or burge 
are or shall in like respect for their messuages or burgages, also to 
grind all his corn and grain spent upon premises at Skipton mills, paying 
such toll and allowance," &c. One William Elliot, of Stirton, was 
similarly bound when he had a lease of land about the same time. 
In 1654, I note, one Thomas Jackson, cordwainer, obtained a lease 
of ''those two water-corne milnes called Skipton Milnes, w'thin the 
burrough of Skipton, with all suites, sokes, molture, &c., thereunto 
belonging." The ancient tolls taken at the mill were — For malt, 
a twenty-sixth part ; for wheat, a shilling a pack ; and for other grain, 
a twenty-fourth part. A document of the time of Lady Anne Clifford 
contains some interesting particulars as to the respective duties of 
owner, occupier, and the tenants, in regard to this mill. In 1659 the 
conditions of tenancy were : — Besides the ordinary yearly rent, the 
occupier had to pay all taxes, assessments, and effect necessary repairs 
to the mill, but the millstones were to be " gotten and found " at the 
expense of the Countess of Pembroke when required, and led by the 
tenants of Skibeden, " as they are bound thereunto by their leases," 
but were to be laid on at the charge of the occupier. In process of 
time this service due from the tenants came to be looked upon as 
a gi'ievance, and disputes not infrequently arose. In 1757 a dispute 
between the inhabitants of the town and the lessee of the soke-mill 
came before the Court Leet. The jury, after hearing the complaints 
of the townspeople and the defence of the miller, drew up the following 
resolutions : — 

"That the lord of the manor is entitled to a twenty-fourth part of all the corn and 
grain that is ground at Skipton mill for toll or mulcture for grinding. 

" That the owner of the mill is not obliged to keep a soke carrier and horse for the 
carrying and re-carrying corn or grain to the mill, but that each suitor carry and 
re-carry his own ; but in case the millowner carry and re-carry them the millowner 
to take service of the corn or grain as usual. 

"That proper mulcture dishes be provided at the expense of the millowner, and 
the dishes not to be taken in mulcture upheaped but stricken. 

" That the millowner find dusting sieves and flour sieves, toll free. 

"The miUowner to dry oats with cinders, and the suitors to pay sixpence for every 
twenty pecks so dried and so in proportion." 


Five years later, in 1762, a suit at law was instituted by the Earl of 
Thanet and the tenant of the mill, as the obligation to have their 
grain ground at the Skipton mills was disputed by the inhabitants. 
The defendants in the case were nominally William Lonsdale and 
Richard Birtwhistle, but they were really representatives of a large 
body of objectors. Some twenty or more of the principal residents — 
including the vicar, the Rev. Mr. Priest, and the Rev. Samuel Plomer, 
the master of the Grammar School, — had covenanted to defend the 
case in proportion to their several estates. The trial took place at 
York in 1763. The Earl of Thanet had no fewer than fifty witnesses 
to support the right he claimed. 

Among others Thomas Watkinson, of Highgate, aged 69 years, 
deposed that he with Francis Lonsdale at one time farmed the Skipton 
mills, " During the time they farmed them all the inhabitants of 
Skipton and Stirton and Thorlby brought all their corn to be ground 
at Skipton mill and he always understood and he believes they were 
obliged by custom to do so, having never heard anything to the 
contrary. He has heard Thos. Joye (who was a servant at the mills 
at the time he and Francis Lonsdale occupied them and for many years 
before) say that he having discovered that one Roger Mitton, the then 
vicar of Skipton, had a pack of malt ground from the mill he told his 
master of it, upon which an action was immediately commenced against 
the said Mr. Mitton, who made submission, and paid costs. He has 
also heard that several of the freeholders in Skipton having erected steel 
mills for grinding their own malt, actions were either commenced or 
threatened to be commenced against them by Thomas then Earl of 
Thanet, upon which they all made submission, and afterwards brought 
their malt and corn to be ground at the mill." One Esther Chippindale, 
who had for fifty years lived in Skipton, deposed that " her father was 
a freeholder in Skipton, and kept an inn. About 35 or 40 years since 
her said father having set vip a steel mill for grinding his own malt, 
Thomas then Earl of Thanet sent to him to pull it down, and caiTy his 
corn to the mill, which he accordingly did and from that time he carried 
all his malt and corn to be ground at the mill." Another aged witness 
stated that about 1 700 the principal freeholders of Skipton had several 
meetings " to consult with each other about entering into a subscription 
for trying the custom of Skipton mill, but they afterwards dropped it." 

The defendants denied that to their knowledge or remembrance the 
freeholders or inhabitants of Skipton, Stirton and Thorlby were " bound 
or obliged to grind, or of right ought to have ground at the said water 


corn mill." Further, they "had heard and believed it to be true that 
sixty or seventy years ago and more the loaders or servants employed 
by the millers of foreign mills used frequently to come into the town 
of Skipton in a public and open manner to fetch the corn of the free- 
holders and residents to such foreign mills, to be ground there, and to 
bring the same back again when ground to the several owners; and 
that likewise such corn was spent and used by such inhabitants with the 
knowledge of and without interruption from the owners or farmers of 
the mill at Skipton." The defendants alleged also that it was formerly 
a common practice for the inhabitants to grind their own grain or have 
it ground by neighbours ; and that " one Benjamin Smith in particular 
kept and made use of a steel mill not only for the grinding of his own 
malt, but he carried it from house to house in Skipton for his own 
private gain, as he used to grind thereon the malt of such other 
inhabitants of Skipton as would employ him ; also that in order to put 
a stop to this practice and prevail upon him to desist therefrom, instead 
of threatening him with suit, the then owner of the water corn-mill 
judged it more prudent to inform the then bailiff of the manor, who was 
nephew to the said Benjamin Smith, that he should not continue to 
be employed as bailiff any longer unless he could influence his uncle 
so far as to cause him to desist from using the steel mill, and thereupon 
the said Benjamin Smith gave over the practice rather than expose his 
kinsman to the hazard of losing so beneficial a place." One David 
Hall, urged the defendants, " an inhabitant of Skipton, for many years 
before and at the time of his death, which happened about four or five 
years ago [1756], used frequently to buy corn ground at foreign mills 
for the use of his family, which was generally very large, the said 
David Hall keeping a public school, and having always a large number 
of scholars to board with him." Coming to the plea of justice, the 
defendants held that the existence of such a custom as the plaintiffs 
sought to establish would be "greatly detrimental to the poor 
inhabitants, who could buy their bread, flour, and meal in the market 
in small quantities much cheaper than if they were to buy their corn 
and afterwards grind it at the mill ; and further that such bondage 
would be attended with very bad consequences to the trade and 
manufacturers of these parts, as it would call the manufacturer from 
his employ to carry, bring back, and attend the grinding of his poor 

The Earl of Thanet was successful in the suit ; the custom of paying 
soke was confirmed, and the defendants were mulcted in some hundreds 


of pounds costs. About the middle of last century the soke-mill was 
rebuilt. The custom of paying '' maut-money," as it was latterly called, 
continued until some fifty years ago, but it was observed only on a very 
small scale. Mr. Thomas King was the last miller to receive this toll. 
Everybody knows the story of its abolition. Mr. King waited upon 
the Earl of Thanet to ask for a reduction of rent, and after the Earl 
had heard the complaint he reminded his tenant of the soke-money he 
received. Mr. King replied, truly enough no doubt, that he "reckoned 
nothing" of this, so greatly had it decreased. "Well, then," his 
lordship returned, " I'll take it off." And he did so at once. Whether 
or not the tenant's interview was ultimately satisfactory, is not 



JT may be taken as beyond doubt that a castle was first 
built at Skipton in the last quarter of the eleventh 
century — that is at the end of the Conqueror's or the 
beginning of his successor's reign. That Robert de 
Romille, the first Norman grantee of the honour of Skipton, was its 
founder, is also beyond reach of question. Camden, a reliable autho- 
rity, in a favourable comment affirms this. Speaking of Skipton, 
he says — "The town is pretty handsome considering the manner of 
building in these mountainous parts, and is secured hy a very beautiful 
and strong castle, built by Robert de Ruvieley, by whose posterity it 
came to be the inheritance of the Earls of Albemarle." Of the 
character of the first structure we cannot judge from the remnant 
that remains, and we must, therefore, assume the builders to have 
followed the usual Norman style. " Of the original building," observes 
Whitaker, "little, I think, besides the western door-way of the inner 
castle now remains. But as that consists of a treble semi-circular 
arch, supported upon square piers, it can scarcely be assigned to a 
later period. The rest of Romille's work, besides a bailey and lodgings 
about it, must have consisted, according to the uniform style of castles 
in that period, of a square tower, with perpendicular buttresses of 
little projection at the angles, and of single round-headed lights in 
the walls. Every vestige, however, of such an edifice has perished, 
with the single exception mentioned above," — Whitaker's editor adds, 
"unless the dungeon and the northern tower of the gateway are 

No more favourable position for a fortress could have been chosen 
by Romille. To the south the ground gently sloped towards the 


Saxon village, and there was room for a spacious bailey. This was 
surrounded by massive walls, along which were bastions at intervals, 
and was entered by a ponderous gateway, with portcullis, before 
which lay the moat, crossed by means of a draw-bridge, raised or 
lowered at pleasure. To the north of the keep was a natural defence, 
for there was here a deep and precipitous descent to a rapid stream. 
The building had not a pleasing aspect, for the sole consideration of 
military architecture in those days was capability of defence. It was 
not until many years later that the consideration of gracefulness 
was added to that of strength. 

It is very probable that in the twelfth century Skipton Castle was 
very roughly treated, if not indeed actually destroyed. The Countess 
of Pembroke records in her Memorials that Robert de Clifford " was 
the chief builder of the most strong parts of Skipton Castle, which 
had been out of repair and ruinous from the Alhemarlei times" Six 
Earls of Albemarle held the honour of Skipton during the second 
half of the eleventh and the first half of the twelfth century. That 
period was one of disquiet and bloodshed. Independently of constant 
struggles among themselves, the barons were at continual variance 
with their kings. More than one of the Albemarles rebelled against 
the crown. I elsewhere* refer to the likelihood that Skipton Castle 
was destroyed during the time of William Fitz Duncan, who became 
lord of Skipton in 1152. The next lord was William le Gross, Earl 
of Albemarle, who married Fitz Duncan's daughter Cecily, and as 
the writer of "Skipton Castle and its Noble Owners" observes, the 
fact that " no castle is alluded to in the dowry of this lady " seems 
confirmatory of the theory that the building was then demolished. 
Holinshed, the historian, throws some light upon the matter. Allud- 
ing to the Isle of Wight, he says : — " The first earl of this island 
that I do read of was one Baldwyne de Betoun, who married for 
his second wife the daughter of William le Grosse, Earl of Aumarle, 
but he dicing without issue by this lady, she was married the second 
time to Earl Maundevile,t and thirdly to William de Fortis, who 
finished Skipton Castell, which his wife's father had begun about the 
time of King Richard the First." But here an error in chronology 
is evident. WiUiam le Gross died 1179, and Richard I. began to 
reign 1189, ten years afterwards; therefore the concluding portion of 

* Chapter VII. : "Military History of Skipton." 
t William de Mandevill, Earl of Essex, who died 1189. His wife's name was Ha wise. 


the foregoing quotation can scarcely be permissible. It seems to me 
more probable that William de Mandeville rather than William le 
Gross began the rebuilding of Skipton Castle, and that William de 
Fortibus completed the work of his wife's second husband, or first, 
according to Whitaker, who has Baldwin de Betun the third husband. 
However this doubtful piece of business may be, it is certain that 
a century after the time of this William de Fortibus, who died 1195, 
a habitable castle did exist in Skipton. For in the 21st year of 
Edward I. (1293), who then held the barony, the castle was granted 
as a residence to the wife and family of William Lord Latimer, who 
was at the time engaged in the king's service in Gascony. Equally 
certain is it that when Robert de Clifford received, in exchange for 
lands of his own, the honour of Skipton, a castle existed here. Sir 
Matthew Hale remarks : — " Robert, therefore, not willing to build any 
great confidence on these debateable acquisitions [lands in Scotland 
granted to him by the king], in the beginning of the reign of Edward 
the Second cast his eye upon a more firm possession, and this was 
the Castle, and house, and honor of Skipton." Clifford obtained this 
grant in 1309. Lady Anne Clifford terms him the ^^ chief builder 
of the most strong parts of Skipton Castle." This is most probably 
correct. When he entered upon his estates Clifford would no doubt 
find the residence which had stood since the time of the earlier 
Albemarles neither strong enough nor sufficiently pretentious for a noble 
of his importance. The mode of warfare and the style of military 
architecture were changing. It was during the reign of Edward I. 
that round towers became fashionable, and after that model Clifford 
began the erection of a fortress. It must be borne in mind that 
the eastern part of the castle is of comparatively modern date, having 
been erected in the sixteenth century. The quadrangular court 
which is formed by a series of rectilinear apartments, and into which the 
Norman arch opens, is known as the Conduit Court, and is so called 
from the fact that the conduit bringing the supply of water to the castle 
terminates here. This lack of a spring within the keep itself must 
alwaj'S have been a great disadvantage, for as Whitaker says, when 
the ])ipes were cut off, **as there would seldom want a traitor to 
reveal their course," the garrison " were left to the chance of rain 
in this dripping climate, and half an acre of leaden roofs to collect 
it." The thickness of the walls varies from nine to ten or eleven feet. 

The castle and honour of Skipton came into the possession of the 
Chffords in 1309, but for many years prior to this they had been in 


the hands of the crown, having been acquired by Edward I. Kennett 
in his Parochial Antiquities speaks thus of this monarch and of Skipton 
Castle : — " The king on his expedition to Scotland died at Burgh upon 
Sands, near Carlisle, July the seventh. Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, 
was with the king upon his death-bed, and was one of those whom 
that king desir'd to be good to his son, and not to permit Piers de 
Gaveston to return into England. After the king's death, this Earl 
with Anthony Beck, Bishop of Durham, and divers others of the 
Barons entred into a solemn association to defend King Edward the 
second, and the rights of his Crown, by special instrument bearing 
date at Boleign January 31, and the same year he was made Governor 
of Skipton Castle, in Com. Ebor." 

Not long after the re-erection of the castle by Robert de Clifford, 
it was visited by royalty. Edward IL is known to have been at 
Skipton on the 1st and 2nd of October, 1323, for several mandates 
to John de Fienles, Robert de Fienles, John de Stonor, John de 
Bousser, and Ranulph de Dacre, printed in Rymer's Foedera, 
end " Teste Rege apud Skipton in Craven." " Per ipsum Regem." 
The same Edward was in Skipton in 1324, as appears from Wynkyn 
de Worde's "Fruyt of Tyme," printed 1528, which states that the 
king was at " Craven at Scipton, because he should undo the 
pilgrimages made at the tomb of the former," viz., Thomas de 
Lancaster, executed 1321. The Compotus of Bolton also has the 
entry in 1324: — "In exp. Prior. Convent. Hospitum, et operar. per 
tempus quo D'n's Rex commorabatur in patria, &c., x/. ixs. viirf." 

The eastern portion of the castle, about sixty yards in length, the 
terminating point of which is the Octogan Tower, is of date much more 
modern than the western. It was built by Henry the first Earl of 
Cumberland in 1536 for the reception of Lady Eleanor Brandon, 
who married his son Henry Clifford in 1537. This jady was the 
daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and nit ce of Henry 
VIII. , and it was in consequence of her high rank that the Earl deemed 
this enlargement of his castle necessary. The erection of this eastern 
part occupied no longer a time than four or five months. " The Lady 
Eleanor's grace," says Whitaker, "appears to have been received by the 
family — who, no doubt, were proud of such an alliance — with the 
honours of royalty ; and a long gallery was then considered as a 
necessary appendage to every princely residence." The entrance at the 
western end of the castle was built by Lady Anne Clifford after the 
siege of the seventeenth century. 


In an inventory of the furniture, apparel, farming stock, and armour 
belonging to the castle taken in 1572, mention is made of the following 
apartments :— -The stranger's chamber, the corner chamber in the high 
lodgings, the great well chamber. Lady Conyer's chamber, the little well 
chamber, Mr. Clifford's chamber, the helmet chamber, Mr. Eltoft's 
chamber, the nursery, the receiver's chamber, chamber over porter's 
lodge, Lady Bellyngham's chamber, the great chamber in the high 
lodging, the old wardrobe, kitchen, west larder, pantry, buttery, ewry, 
the hall, the cellar, the middle chamber in the gallery, and the low 
tower at the gallery end. 

From another inventory, made about twenty years later, a few 
extracts may be introduced : — 

" Drawing Chamber. — Three hangings of arris worke bought of Mr. 
Yorke. One hanging or counterpoint of forest worke, w'th Clifford 
armes. Two table-cloths of grene clothe, fringed abo't with grene 
silke fringe. Two cheares of estate of clothe of silver ; three long 
quisheons suited to the same ; one low stoole suitable. Two cupboard 
clothes, grene clothe w'th grene fringe. One litel cheare of estate, 
covered w'th blewe velvet embrodered w'th silver twiste a tussheay. 
One low cheare cov'd w'th velvet a tusshaye. Five buffetts covered 
with crimson velvet, and five with grene velvet. One buffet cov'd 
with clothe of gold. One lowe stand of needle-worke. Three square 
qwisheons of Turkie worke. One p'r of great copper andii'ons. One 
sconce of wickers. One chimney clothe set in frayme of wod. One 
long table, 2 tressels, and two square cupboards. 

" The Chamb' of Estate. — One qwilt of purpl' satten brodered with 
gowld and silver twine, w'th Cliff'ord & Bedford armes. One sparver 
bordered w'th greapes, and clothe of gowld; one cheare, w'th two 
stools suitable to the same sparver. Large carpet for fote clothe. 
Two traversers of purple taff'atie. Three hangings of Isaac &, Rebeckey, 
One gret glass gilt, w'th litel curtain of sarcenet for same. i 
perfuming pan. Frayme for sparver." 

No fewer than thirty-six paintings are mentioned. The "library" 
cannot have been extensive ; at least this is the only reference : — " i 
bowke of Bocas. i greatt owld bowck. i great bowke or grele for 
singing, i trunk of wickers covert with letter w'th bowcks & scrowles 
in." A domestic apartment was likewise ill fitted up : — " Sylv. spoones 
VI, knives ii case, and iv glasses, ii gilt, w'th one cover. Trenchers iv 
doz." Other articles named are : — " i combe case, p'cel gilt ; 3 ivoiy 


combes; i pare sheasers; Damaske worke; v towth pyckes and eare 
pyckes of silv'r." 

Upon the death of the last Earl of Cumberland in 1643 an inventory 
was taken of the effects in the castle, and as it is very circumstantial 
it is quoted here : — 

" In the Great Hall. 

"Imprimis — 7 large peices of hangings, w'th the carle's armes at 
large in every one of them, and poudered w'th the severall coates of 
the house. 

" 3 long great tables on standard frames, 6 long forms, 1 short one, 

1 court cupbard, 1 fayre brass lantern, 1 iron cradle, w'th wheeles for 
charcoale, 1 almes tubb, 1 great auncyent clock w'th the bell, weights, 
&c., 20 long pikes, 1 great Church Bible, 1 booke of Common Prayer, 

2 laced cloth cushons for the steward." 

It has been truly remarked that from this very complete and vivid 
representation a painter, with some help from fancy, might give an 
interior view of the old hall at Skipton Castle. The iron cradle for 
charcoal proves that this hall had no fireplace, " but was warmed by 
a central fire in a movable grate, the vapour of which escaped from a 
cupola above." The " almes tubb " contained, doubtless, the oatmeal 
doled out in fixed quantities to the poor who were permitted to come to 
the castle for assistance. The " Church Bible and Booke of Common 
Prayer" probably belonged to the chapel adjoining the castle. To 
continue : — 

" In the Parler. 

" 3 peices of aunceyent French hangings, and two peices of another 
suite of the story in my lord's chamber, 1 oval table, 1 side-boarde, 
1 cupboard e, &c., &c., 1 payre of organs, 1 harpsicon." 

The Countess of Pembroke had a taste for music. Elsewhere lutes 
and theorboes are mentioned. 

" In the Kitching, &c. 

"One gi-eat brewing fatt, with powdered beef, 35 great large beefe 
flicks, 50 small beef flicks and more, besides peices. In all 33| 
carcasses of beef." 

This provision of dried beef refers of course to the garrison. 
" In the Buttery. 
" 1 silver tumbler." 


This is the only silver vessel of which mention is made. The plate 
had all been removed to a place of safety, probably to York, for the 
Countess of Cork, the earl's sole heiress, "complains, in another paper, 
that at the surrender of that city she had effects taken from her to the 
amount of £1,500 contrary to the articles." 

" In the Byllyard Chamber and Terrayse. 

" 1 byllard-board. The picture of our Saviour and Virgin Mary. 12 
pictures in black and whyte, 3 landskippes in frames, 16 mappes of 
cities and shires. 

" In the Great Chamber. 

"5 peices of aunceyant rich French aras hangings, w'th the story 
of Chai'lemane, &c. ; 12 high chayres of green damaske; two low 
chayres, 1 great chayre with arms, &c. Item, 2 tables, 1 cubberd- 
bed, 2 grene carpetts, 1 sett-worke carpett, 2 large window curteynes 
of grene, 8 pictures. Item, 1 Turkey-worke foote carpet, a large one. 

" In my Lord's Chamber. 

"4 hanging of rich tapestry, 6 pole-axes, 1 buckler, 4 pictures, 1 
crossbooe, &c., 1 livery-cubbord. 

« In the Closet. 

" My lady Frances gettome and 2 trowlemadams or pigeon-holes. 

" In the Music Roome. 

" 1 great picture of the Countess of Cumberlande. 
" 1 statue of her grandfather Burleigh, in stone." 

In the inventory from which the foregoing extracts are taken, fifty- 
seven apartments are named. The best I'ooms were hung with arras, 
some with gilt leather, while the better beds were hung wuth silk or 
velvet. One counterpane is said to be of leopards' skins. There 
appears to have been but one looking-glass in the whole house ! It 
was in the Earl's room. Little damage was done to the furniture 
during the siege, although after it, while the castle was in the hands 
of the Parliamentarians, as I shall show, the garrison at one time 
threatened to seize iipon all the valuables for lack of the pay due 
to them. 

A word should be said regarding the ancient officers of the castle. 
In the twelfth century there was a " Keginald de Fleming, Senescallus 
de Skipton," and somewhat later a " Wilhelmus Anglicus, Baillivus de 


Skipton," while all the following constables, says Whitaker, held office 
prior to the reign of the first Edward : — 

D's Radulphus de Normauvile, Constabularius de Skepton. 

Thomas de Leathley. 

Wilhelmus de Hebdene. 

D's Martinus de Campoflore. 

Henricus de Chesterhunt. 

Johan. de Cotterhow. 

Baldwin Tyas. 

The last-named, it appears from the Compotus of Bolton, received 
in 1317 the sum of lis. 6d. from the Canons for his aid in the 
saving of goods belonging to the priory during a Scotch incursion. 
The office of porter to the castle remained many generations in the 
family of Ferrant or Ferrand. The first known member of the family 
to hold the office was Hugh Ferrand. He received it from one 
of the Earls of Albemarle. The Ferrand family is noticed in a later 

In 1733 Gent, of York, paid a visit to Skipton, and he speaks very 
favourably both of the town and the castle. Of the latter he says : — 
" The famous Castle in Skipton, reported to have been first built by a 
rich Man named Robert de Romely, about 700 years ago, was almost 
demolish'd in the Civil Wars, by Order of the Parliament, because it 
had been a Garrison for the Royalists. Thus the main Part lay in 
Ruins from December 1648 'till the Year 1657 and 1658, when it was 
repair'd in the beautiful Manner it now appears, standing gracefully at 
the Head of the Town, with a comely Gate House, where the Steward 
has his Habitation. . . In the castle yard is a very large Oak, said 
to have sprung from an acorn that grew on the tree wherein King 
Charles hid himself." 

The woody glen behind the castle was the pleasure-ground of the 
later Cliffords, and there were here fish-ponds and walks. In the front 
of the castle was also in more modern times a large fish-pond. In the 
account books of Thomas Earl of Thanet references such as the 
following are to be seen : — 

"Sept. 27. — Paid Christo. Allison and his son, John Birtwhistle, 
Hosea Bradforth, Jacob Wright, and Will. Birtwhistle, for 
dressing the pond before the castle, and making a new 
cundrith from it, the old one being filled up, and for 
dressing the highest pond on the back of the castle 01 14 02" 


Two other fish ponds behind the castle are spoken of. Gent, who has 
just been quoted, remarks (1733): — "There is a large Fish Pond, 
which environs one half of the Castle, on which is a Pleasure Court. 
Upon the north side of the Castle, which stands upon a high rock, 
runs a small river, an hundred or more yards (!) from the top of 
the Castle, and two large fish-ponds, each side being adorn'd with 
curious Walks, Squares, and Forms of Diamonds artfully knocked 
in the trees." That branch of the canal lying north of the castle 
was constructed in accordance with Parliamentary powers obtained 
in 1773. 

In his Antiquities of England and Wales, Grose has a short reference 
to Skipton Castle, and also an engraving (made in 1770) of the 
building. This is very different from the present appearance, espe- 
cially in the approaches. Grose says of the castle : — " It was built 
by Robert de Romeley, stiled lord of the honour of Skipton in Craven : 
the date of its erection is not preserved ; but from many attendant 
circumstances it appears to have been soon after the Conquest.* 
Robert de Romeley leaving no issue male, Alice his daughter became 
heir to all his possessions. She married, but to whom is not mentioned ; 
the fruit thereof was only a daughter named Ciceley, who carried this 
great estate by marriage to William le Grosse, earl of Albemarle, as 
his daughter and heir Hawise did to William de Mandevil, William 
de Fortibus, and Baldwin de Betun successively. On the collection 
of scutage about this time, the honour of Skipton was twice assessed 
at £6 10s. Od. All the male children of Baldwin de Betun dying in 
their infancy, the estate devolved to Aveline his daughter, during 
whose minority King Henry III. for the consideration of £1,500 
assigned the castle and barony to Alexander, King of Scotland. Aveline 
coming of age 1269, and being heir to the earldom of Albemarle 
and Devon, as well as to the honour of Skipton, the king thought 
her a match worthy of his second son, Edmund, commonly called 
Crouchback, and they were accordingly married. . . The present 
edifice seems more calculated for habitation than for defence. In it 
are preserved several ancient family pictures of the Cliffords, one in 
particular said to be that of fair Rosamond : also some curious 
tapestry representing the punishment of the vices. The great hall, 
"which seems calculated for the hospitality .of those times, has two 
fireplaces, with a buttery hatch to the cellar, and another to the 

* He gives the date 1066. 


kitchen. The dungeon or prison is a small dark hole ; the descent 
to it is by sixteen steps." 

The poet Gray visited Craven in 1769, and of Skipton he says: — 
"Skipton is a jiretty large market town, in a valley, with one very 
broad street gently sloping downwards from the castle, which stands 
at the head of it. This is one of the good Countess's buildings, but 
on old foundations ; it is not very large, but of a handsome antique 
appearance, with round towers, a grand gateway, bridge and moat, 
surrounded by many old trees. It is in good repair, and kept up 
as the habitation of the Earl of Thanet, though he rarely comes 

To the west of the castle stand the remains of what was once 
the Castle Chapel. Whitaker supposes it to have been founded by 
Alice de Romille. In Archbishop Holgate's Return of Chantries and 
also in an inspeximus of Henry Lord Clifford, dated 1512, the 
founder is said to have been an Earl of Albemarle. The original 
shell of the building may yet be traced, although additions have 
been made to it in modern times. Several windows and the original 
door are easily distinguishable, while the piscina still retains its 
position in the south wall. This sacred building is now used as a 
stable ! 

The endowment of the chapel, which was dedicated to St. John 
the Evangelist, is seen from the following confirmation of a grant 
dated May 2, 1512 :— 

"Henry Lord Clifford, Westmoreland, and Vesey. 

"Knowe ye me to have seen cert'n evidences belonging to my free chappell of 
Joh. Evang. within ye castell of ye fondacyon of ye erle of Albemarle, presentlie 
belonging unto me, in which are conteigned cert'n libtyes and dutyes to ye P'son, 
or Chaplayne, and his successors ; and also one copie of certain of ye same 
evidenses are written in two mess bookes, one newe, the oth' oulde ; in one of 
which the said erle gi-aunteth that the seide chaplaine shal have meate and drinke 
sufficent w'thin ye hall of ye lord of ye castell, for hym and one garcon w'th hym. 
And yf the lord be ab't, [absent] and noe house kept, yen he and his successors 
shal have for ev'ry 10 weeks one q'r of whete, or Vis. viild. and ivs. in moneye, 
and one robe or gowne yerely, att ye Nativitie of o'r Lorde, or xiiis. ivd. in monie. 

"Wherefore bee yt knowen that I Henrie lord Clifford, in honoure of God, our 
blessed Ladye, and St. John ye Evang. and for ye helthe of mye sowle, ratifye for 
mee and my heires all such lib'ties, lands, ten'ts, rents, poss'ns, tythes, and duties 
as ye seid p'son and his p'decessors enjoyed." 

The emoluments of the chaplaincy appear also from the following 
warrant of the same Clifford : — 


"To my auditor or auditors, receyvor or receyvors, gretyng. And I wyll yt ye 
allow from hensforth yerely at my audyt at St. Lukemas unto Sir Will. Stubbes, 
p'son of my castell of Skypton, in full payment of such dewes as belong to his 
p'sonage, for ev'ry yere yt I lye not at my seid castell xxvis. vind. for iv quarters 
of whete, and thretene sh. and four d. for a gowne ; and for ye space yt Y lie at 
my seid castell at eny tyme within ye seid yere or yeres ye to abate as muche of 
ye seid allowance, accordyng to ye olde and auncyent custome. 

"Yeven at my lodge in Berden xxvii of Sept. in ye vill yere of King Henry 
VIII." [1517.] 

Upon the death of this Stubbs one William Threlkeld was presented 
to the office : — 

" Henry erle of Cumbreland, lord of ye honor of Skypton and of ye Percy Fee 
for ye s'vice done by my chaplane Sir W'm Thyrkeylde unto my lord my father (of 
whose sowle God have mercie), and to me, have given unto hym the Free Chappell 
wythin the Castell, of w'ch I the said erle ys ye undoubted patron. To have, hould, 
&c, with a comodities, &c., as it dothe appeare in an oulde mess booke remaynyng in 
ye chappell, or in ould precedent, or estryment in wryteing on parchment, soe that 
he shal singe and min'r in ye said chapel, according to the ould custom, or at ye 
pleasure and comandment of ye said Erie." [1542]. 

It seems very probable that ' Sir ' William Threlkeld was a relation 
of Sir Lancelot, who married the widow of John Lord Clifford, about 
the close of the preceding century. While 'Sir' William held the 
chaplaincy the chantries and free chapels were dissolved, and the 
return made upon that occasion was as follows : — 

W'm Thurkeld incumbent, 48 years of age, serveth the cure 

\ himself, having houselinge people [communicants] nine score or 
thereabouts, w'th the lorde of Cumb'land his household servants. The necessitie 
thereof is to serve the said erle, and his houshold in the castel. Goods and plate 
belonginge to the said service, as appeireth, goods ill. plate ill. The yearly value of 
frehould landes to ye said s'vice belongyng, as apiereth by ye rental, cvins. lid. 
Copyhould ill. wherof resolutes and deductions ill. Remayneth clear to the king's 
majestic, cviiis. iid." 

Threlkeld was not, however, ejected from his office, as it was held 
that the chapel was not a free chapel but a parsonage. 

" In the matter betweene the kinge's highnesse and the p'son of Skipton Castell. 
Forasmuche as no matter or cawse is proved on the king's behalfe that ye p'sonage 
w'thin the castell of Skipton shoulde be a free chapel, but that it is a p'sonage ; 
ordered, that the said p'son shal continue in the quiet possession of the said parsonage 
until better matter be shewed for ye king." 

Whitaker observes : — " When this incumbent died, or what became 
of him, I do not know; but upon his demise or removal a scheme 
seems to have been formed by the Clifford family to present no more 
rectors or chaplains, and to suffer the endowment gradually to sink 
into oblivion; for in the 15th of Elizabeth [1573] a commission was 


granted to Richard Assheton and John Braddyll, the purchasers of 
Whalley Abbey, to institute an enquiry ' de terris concelatis capellse 
de Skipton ' [concerning the concealed lands of the chapel of Skipton] ; 
in consequence of which the old endowment once more came to light, 
and the chapel with its appurtenances was sold to one Francis Proctor 
and Thomas Browne. The year following these parties assigned the 
premises once more to a John Proctor, who, in the 18th Elizabeth, 
conveyed the whole to George Earl of Cumberland. Whether the 
family neglected in the first instance to buy so inconvenient a rent- 
charge upon their demesne, or the Crown, offended with the 
concealment, refused to deal with them, I cannot tell." The chapel 
continued in use for many years after this. The following extract 
from the parish register relates to a marriage that took place within 
its walls : — 

1634, July. — " Upon the third of July was married in the chappell at Skipton 
Castle the right honnorable Richerd lord Viscount Dungarvane and the 
lady Elizabeth Clifford." 

Three years later a daughter of this Lord Dungarvan was baptised 
in the chapel : — 

1637, October 8. — "Katheran, the daughter of the right honnorable Richerd lord 
viscount Dungarvan, beeing baptizde in the chappell at Skipton Castell." 


Let us now glance at Skipton Castle of to-day. And here, as we 
think of its desolateness, it is impossible not to call to mind the 
pomp and the activity of which it was once the scene. What stirring 
pictures of its pristine condition we can imagine ! But now — 

. . . " All within is waste and still ; 
Tall grass the lonely court doth fill ; 
Ne'er water in its fosses flows." 

In approaching the castle from the town, the first thing to arrest 
the eye of the observer is the motto cut out in stone, in large letters, 
above the gateway: — 


meaning " Henceforth !" In a moulding extending round the parapet 


of the central chamber of the Gate-house is the following inscription : — 









The inscription constitutes the first five lines of Ode xxx, Book iii 
of Horace, but altered as regards the first line (" Exegi monumentum 
sere perennius.") The meaning is : — " The merit of George is more 
lasting than marble, and higher than the kingly structure of the 
Pyramids. Neither the devouring rain, nor the powerless north- wind, 
nor a countless series of years and the flight of time can destroy it." 
By 'George' is meant the third Earl of Cumberland, Lady Anne 
Clifford's father. Below the "Desormais," and just over the gateway, 
are the arms of Henry the fifth earl, with the initials H C and the 
fractured date 16 — . 


To the right hand of the archway is an apartment known as the 
Shell House, from the circiimstance that the four walls of one of the 
lower rooms are decorated with sea shells, fixed in cement. Over the 
fireplace Neptune is shown. The shells are said by tradition to have 
been brought by George Earl of Cumberland from one of his expeditions. 


Passing through the modern entrance to the western portion of the 
castle, we stand in a wide arched passage leading to the inner court. 
Facing the doorway a staircase leads to a spacious apartment formerly- 
used as the steward's office. The walls here are but four feet thick, 
while those of the old portions are nine and upwards. Facing this 
staircase is another narrow one of stone. An ascent of eighteen 
steps brings us to what is known as " Fair Rosamond's Inner Chamber," 
a strange title, seeing that that Clifford died many years before Skipton 
Castle came into the hands of her family. At the head of the passage 
can be traced the groove in which a portcullis was worked. This 
is by the side of the Norman arch, which Whitaker believes to be 
the only vestige of the original castle. We now enter the Inner or 
Conduit Court, which is tenanted by an ancient yew tree. Of what 
age it is, cannot be determined with any degree of certainty, Whitaker 
supposes it to have been planted here in the place of one destroyed 
during the siege of 1642-5, but the conjecture is perhaps a doubtful 
one. It is probable the tree is much older. However that may be, 
it still continues to flourish, notwithstanding the persistent unkindness 
of relic-hunters. 

The fii'st door to the left of the courtyard leads to the castle dungeon. 
This is approached from a gloomy passage, in which are several recesses, 
accessory probably to the loop-hole at the end. Descending sixteen 
steps the dungeon is reached. A dark, damp, unwholesome apartment 
it is. There are unromantic people who hold that this place 
was really nothing more than a wine cellar. But against this opinion 
several objections may be raised. There are unmistakable signs 
that the door could be kept most securely fastened, for in addition 
to means for attaching locks there are apertures in the opposite walls 
of the entrance for the sliding to and fro of the bar of wood or iron 
generally used. The door could of course only be fastened on the 
outside. In addition, the wall facing the opening to this dismal, 
unlighted apartment contains a sort of flue for the purpose of venti- 
lation. The vaulted dungeon is about 16 feet long by 8 feet wide, 
and 9 feet in height, and it has an earthen floor. There has evidently 
been a massive door at the head of the staircase. The dungeon was 
doubtless frequently used in old times. As eai'ly as the reign of 
King John prisoners for offences within the fee of Albemarle were 
committed to Skipton Castle, and afterwards removed for trial at 
York. Henry, first Earl of Cumberland, towards the close of Henry 
VIII.'s reign, had amongst other prisoners a notorious deer-stealer 


named West, of Grassington. It appears also from records at Bolton 
that in 1559 one Francis May was imprisoned in the castle for hunting 
at night in Skipton Park, but he escaped; wherefore interrogatories 
were sent, on the Earl of Cumberland's behalf, to John Henryson, 
the gaoler. 

Near the dungeon is another very interesting apartment. The floor 
lies some three or four feet lower than the passage by which it is 
approached. The present entrance, however, cannot be the original 
one ; it must have been broken through the wall. The condition of 
the passage wall and the direction in which a door at the head 
of the passage has opened seem to support this view. Furthermore, 
entrance to the room can only be gained, when a temporary ladder 
is taken away, by a sheer jump of three or four feet. The apartment 
is nearly circular, and is arched, and at the west side a loop-hole, 
now filled up, can be detected. The room, which is under the kitchens, 
is about 18 feet in diameter, and 16 feet in height, although the 
proper floor is a little lower than the present one. To the right of the 
entrance is a perfect archway, some six feet high, going beyond the 
wall about three feet. Where this leads to is yet a mystery, but I can- 
not avoid coming to the conclusion that the room was originally entered 
by this arch. Of course conjectures as to the use of this place are 
abundant. Some hold that it was merely used in conjunction with 
the kitchen, others that it was a dungeon, while another conjecture 
is that from this room in times of danger a secret place of concealment 
was off"ered to the pursued ; and yet another that the archway referred 
to is the head of a subterranean passage of indefinite extent. The 
last conjecture is unworthy of consideration. And though I should 
hesitate before setting this down as one of the "secret chambers" 
which are supposed to be appurtenant to every ancient fortress, it 
seems pretty clear, both from its extreme height and the peculiarity of 
ingress, that the room was not one for ordinary domestic use. It is 
of evident antiquity. A little labour spent in excavation here, and in 
another somewhat mysterious place immediately adjacent, might yield 
very interesting results. 

Returning from this gloomy cellar to the court-yard, we reach the 
banqueting-hall, on the same side, by means of a flight of steps. 
A door to the left leads to the spacious kitchen, where are two or three 
good old-fashioned fireplaces, at once the wonder and the admiration of 
modern housewives. They are about twelve feet in width. In the 
kitchen arc also three stone ovens and a large sink in the wall facing the 


Springs. By the side of the doorway is a buttery hatch. Adjoining 
this kitchen are two small pantries, one of which contains the only 
cupboards to be seen in the old part of the castle. 

The banqueting hall is a fine, lofty room, about fifty feet in length 
and twenty-eight in width. It is lighted by three windows, facing 
the court-yard. Formerly there was communication between this room 
and the cellar underneath, but the doorway has been built up, and 
can only be traced by close examination. One cannot help calling 
up to "inward view" some of the stirring scenes which have been 
enacted in this hall. How often have its lordly owners with their noble 
companions " eaten, drunk, and made merry " here ! A marriage feast, 
perhaps, it has been, or the celebration of some national victory, in 
which the revellers, lately returned from the field, have borne an 
honourable part. And how many scenes of sadness have been 
witnessed here; when gaiety has been hushed, and has given place 
to mourning : rejoicing to tears ! How changed is everything now ! No 
longer the voice of mirth re-echoes here : — 

" No more within the festal hall 
Is heard the sound of revelry — 
The minstrel tunes his harp no more, 
To siag of love and chivalry ! " 

All this is past, and the only sound that breaks the silence is the 
weird wailing of the wind as it enters by window crevice or unfastened 
door. It was a scene such as this that inspired Mrs. Hemans : — 

" Lone echo of these mouldering walls, 
To thee no festal measure calls ; 
No music through the desert halls 
Awakes thee to rejoice ! 

How still thy sleep ! as death profound — 
As if, within this lonely round, 
A step — a note — a whisper'd sound 
Had ne'er aroused thy voice ! 

Thou hear'st the zephyr murmuring, dying, 
Thou hear'st the foliage waving, sighing ; 
But ne'er again shall harp or song 
These dark, deserted courts along, 
Disturb thy calm repose. 

The harp is broke, the song is fled, 
The voice is hush'd, the bard is dead ; 
And never shall thy tones repeat 
Or lofty strain or carol sweet 
With plaintive close !" 


The banqueting-hall adjoins the withdrawing-room, in which there 
is a large window facing the mill and the Springs. The door leading 
out of this room is of very modern construction. The original one 
was in the centre of the wall facing the door from the banqueting 
room, and was scarcely three feet wide. It opened into a passage 
almost as narrow, from which is reached that famous apartment — 
absent from no well-ordered castle — Mary Queen of Scots' Room. I 
suspect that Queen Mary's visit is an imaginary one. The Queen was, 
however, imprisoned in Bolton Castle, Wensleydale. Very near this 
room is a spacious drawing-room, which can also be reached from the 
court-yard. From this room a door leads to the Muniment-room, which 
is very rarely entered. Here are drawers and chests full of unsorted 
documents relating to the Cliffords, the Earls of Thanet, and the Craven 
estates. Whitaker wrote at the time of his visit to this room, about 
eighty years ago, that it was " a place of impenetrable security from 
everything but mice and damp." But now even the mice have deserted 
the room, and damp is left to complete a destructive work already far 
advanced. It has been the writer's task to go through a large portion of 
the documents stored up in this room, and it is almost needless to say 
how pleasant that task was, and how fruitful. From the drawing-room 
a bedroom is entered, which is lighted from the court-yard. A passage 
leads into what is known as the Watch Tower, so named from its 
being the highest of the towers. Near this apartment is a staircase 
— the narrowest in the whole castle. The entrance will scarcely admit 
the shoulders of a man of even ordinary size, as it is not more than 
eighteen inches wide. The staircase leads to another bedroom, in 
which are four windows. From this room access is gained to the roof. 

The first door to the right of the entrance to the court-yard leads 
into a dark apartment in which there is a loophole, now nearly 
concealed by a fireplace. Farther on, in the Watch Tower, is the 
"guard-room," which commands a view of the gateway, the castle 
entrance, and the bailey. There are here three loopholes. Over 
several of the doors in the court-yard are carved the arms and 
quarteriugs of the Cliffords. 


Hitherto the old portion of the castle has alone been spoken of. The 
eastern portion, built in the sixteenth ccntuiy, is known as the 


" inhabited " part. Here the noble owner resides on his occasional visits 
to Skipton, and here his steward permanently lives. The interior of this 
portion is well worth visiting. The relic-seeker will find abundant 
pleasure here; the old furniture lover may revel here to his heart's 
content ; here the connoisseur in art of earlier days will meet with many 
a prize. 

It would be impossible to enumerate all the objects which combine to 
render this part of Skipton Castle so interesting. True, there is lacking 
that air of majesty which surrounds the western towers, but for all 
that the antiquary who devotes an hour to an inspection of the 
inhabited part will not find the time misapplied. Formerly, it may 
be observed, a large family picture of the Cliffords was kept here. It 
was a copy of the one which has always been at Appleby. Upon this 
picture — now, I believe, at Hothfield, — are represented George Earl 
of Cumberland, with his countess ; Lady Anne Clifford, their daughter, 
at different ages ; and her two brothers, who died in infancy. The 
picture is accompanied by historical biographies. Ralph Thoresby's 
Diary shows that in 1684 that antiquary inspected it. He says, "The 
Honourable Henry Fairfax giving me a visit would oblige me to return 
with him to Denton, where I was most kindly received by my Lord. 
I was mightily pleased with the religious order of the family. Rode 
to Skipton, where for near eight hours I was thoroughly enjoyed in 
copying the inscriptions in the folding pictures of the famous Earls 
of Cumberland, and others in that ancient pedigree, in the castle 
there, and returned that night to Leeds." 

The portraits now to be seen in the castle are five in number. In 
the receiving-room near the hall is a portrait of George the third Earl. 
It is painted upon oak, but is in very bad condition, and the features 
can with difficulty be distinguished. In the left hand corner of the 
panel is the date *'A'o D'ni 1588." The other four pictures are in 
the drawing-room — a fine, spacious apartment in the Octagon Tower. 
Two of them are of Lady Anne Clifford. In one she appears as a 
maiden of about eighteen years. The face is a pleasing one, and is 
what one would expect after reading the lady's description of her person 
in youth. The other portrait of Lady Anne is not likely to excite 
great admiration. The contrast is veiy marked. She seems to be 
shown at the age of some sixty years, and if the face must be taken as 
an index of the mind, one cannot help being forced to the conclusion 
that increase of years had not tended to produce a sweet, amiable 
disposition. Let us assume that the lady's physiognomy belies her in 


this respect. Youth and age, nevertheless, show a great contrast. 
Another portrait represents Lady Anne's grandfather, Henry second 
Earl of Cumberland, a man of soldier-like bearing, in court dress. 
The last of the portraits in this apartment is one of Oliver Cromwell, 
which hangs — strange companionship ! — between the two of Lady 
Anne, whose castles he helped to batter down. The soldier is dressed 
in armour, and his helmet is also shown on the canvas. One drawback 
to this picture the observer must be struck with — the apparent care 
taken by the artist to accommodate his subject with a clear, un- 
blemished face. This Cromwell certainly had not. Here, however, 
there is little left to be desired in the matter of good looks. Within 
recent years, a number of family pictures have been removed from 
Skipton. Among them are those of Lady Eleanor Brandon (for the 
reception of whom this eastern part of the castle was erected), the 
Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Dorset, one of Lady Anne Clifford, a 
picture representing the departure of Earl George on one of his 
buccaneering expeditions ; as well as a portrait of Samuel Daniel, tutor 
of Lady Anne, and one of an Earl of Bedford. 

More interesting perhaps, and certainly more curious, than the 
paintings are the beautiful specimens of ancient tapestry which cover 
the walls of several rooms in this portion of the castle. In a bedroom 
distinguished as ''the Earl of Thanet's," the tapestry designs are 
" Solomon passing his judgment," " Queen Esther and King Ahasuerus," 
and "Joseph and his Brethren — the discovery of the cup." In another 
bed-chamber — the one in which the second Earl of Cumberland 
is said to have lain when in a trance — the scenes pourtrayed are " An 
Eastern marriage," several New Testament incidents, and "Forest 
scenes." In the drawing-room the "Four seasons" are beautifully 
represented. The highest room of the Octagon Tower, known as the 
" State Chamber," also contains some veiy curious tapestry work. The 
"Siege of Troy" forms the subject of one portion, two forest scenes 
occupy another side of the room, while the " Spanish Inquisition " is 
a piece of work of very large dimensions. The last-mentioned scene 
is a most interesting one, and will repay careful study. Herein are 
shown the many diabolical persecutions to which Protestants were 
subjected at one time by decrees of the Inquisition. Both men and 
women are undergoing torture in many ways. To some the thumb- 
screw is being applied ; to others the iron belt and the pilloiy ; several 
unfortunates appear with fingers or arms newly severed, or with 
eyes put out. The expression on the face of nearly every figure is 


that of intensest agony. On the opposite side of the room to the 
" Inquisition " scene is a representation of the Queen of Sheba's visit 
to Solomon. 

In this "State Chamber" are many other objects of interest. There 
are here sevei-al pieces of very antique furniture ; — among them is a 
capacious chair dating back, says tradition, to the time of Henry VIII. 
Nay, the same tongue insists that it has supported the ponderous form 
of that monarch ! The chair is covered in front with embossed leather 
and behind with velvet. Other chairs of very old date are to be 
seen here, some bearing the arms of the Clifford family worked in 
needlework upon the seat. There is some magnificent old oak carving 
in the new portion of the castle. Especially beautiful is the massive 
balustrade, supported by half a hundred stout pillars, all of black oak. 
Several sideboards are, on account of age and beauty of workmanship, 
worthy of mention. In the large " Servants' hall " are memorials of 
an older time. A cannon ball of lead, weighing 28 lb., which was 
found in the old castle after the siege in the seventeenth century, is 
shown. There are here also a large drinking-cup bearing the initials 
"A.P.," and a curious old stirrup, as well as several pieces of antique 
furniture. Other objects of interest there are in this part of the castle, 
but it is impossible to name them here. 




jT is interesting as well as instructive to reflect upon the 
mode of life of the later Clififbrds. The period to which 
this chapter is confined is the early part of the seven- 
teenth century. Just as from the priceless transcripts 
of the Compotus of Bolton Priory which Whitaker and Burton give 
a vivid conception of monastic life five centuries ago may be formed, 
so from the Household Books of the Clifi^ords (many of which remain 
at Bolton Hall and Skipton Castle) we are able, as with the living 
eye, to watch the old barons in their daily pursuits. We see them 
in the hunting field, mounted well, chasing the deer through brake 
and hollow. And we hear the lusty shout that fills the air when 
at last the luckless quarry is vanquished. Or, as winter sets in, we 
see them in the hall, whihng away the long evening with music, or 
card-playing, it may be. We listen to the jests that pass around, and 
join in the hearty laughter that greets one merrier, more brilliant 
than all that have gone before it. Occasionally, we see a band of 
minstrels or of players seeking admittance to the old castle, and 
finding a ready welcome; and then above all other times the lofty 
hall resounds with applause and boisterous mirth. 

Extensive as was the Craven domain, the Skipton establishment 
appears to have been earned on upon too extravagant a scale to 
"make both ends meet." Frequently the expenses far exceeded tho 
receipts. The former often amounted to £3,000, sometimes to nearly 
double that sum, while in the first years of the seventeenth century 
the rental of both the Craven and tho Londesborough estates was 


very little more than £2,000. Yet, with all their extravagance, the 
family were just to their creditors, and tradesmen were allowed after 
the first year an interest of ten per cent, upon unpaid bills. 

The household at Skipton numbered about thirty servants : not a 
large number considering the size of the residence and the importance 
of the family. The great consumption of money, as Whitaker points 
out, was in wines, journeys, clothes, presents, and tobacco. "With 
regard to the first," he says, " they drank such quantities of claret, 
sack, and muscadine, that I suppose the upper servants must have 
shared with them in the first at least." Then, journeys to and from 
their own castles, and to their noble friends, were very frequently 
made, and made in style befitting their condition. The amount paid 
for tobacco was inordinate. But it must be remembered that the price 
was then extremely high : the finest sort cost 18s. per pound, and 
inferior 12s. A single bill for this luxury cost the Chffbrds £36 7s. 8d. 

Such extracts from the Household Books will be taken as throw 
light upon their mode of living : — 

" For three bushels of wheat to bake two staggs, 18s." 

These carcases were baked whole. With the ovens of those days 
the diminutive ovens of the present time will bear no comparison. 
Peat and ling were used to heat the ovens in Skipton Castle : what 
coal was consumed came from Colne. These monstrous venison pies 
were duly seasoned : — 

" It. — For currants and limons which they put in the stag pies." 

Whitaker remarks : — " For the quantity of flour used, these enormous 
structures must have been standing pies, a kind of pastry castles, of 
which the walls were of the same material with the roof. I must 
add that the office of pastry baker was distinct from that of the cook 
or baker of the family. In the year 1606 one Atkinson, of Barden, 
was famous for this accomplishment, and in 1634 widow Bland was 
paid by instalments £3 4s. 2c?. for baking pasties when my old lord 
[Earl Francis] kept house." It is worthy of remark, perhaps, that 
it was customary, when the Earls of Thanet no longer continued to 
reside at Skipton Castle, to furnish them with venison in London ; 
and thus occur such payments as the following : — " 1696 — Dec. 29. — 
For spice for seasoning the venison w'th sent to his Lo'pp to London, 
and for a cord sending it to Elslack to the carryer, 00^. 01s. 02d." 

" Five hundred of oysters, 2s. 6d. 
Half e toone of wyne for my lord, £8 5s. 


For troote and pickerells gotten at Mawater Tame, 2s. 

To the fishers for 21 trootes and cheavones, being great ones, 3s. 

It. — For cheavons, trootes, and I'oches, Is. id. 

It. — For 31 trootes, eles, and oomberes, Is. 6d." 


At this time the Earls of Cumberland had a right of fishing in 
Malham Tarn. In the Account Book for 1606 occurs this entry : — 
" P'd to H. H., being at Mawater, watching the well-head for stealing 
the trouts coming unto this Ritt Time, 25. Qd." and an entry of 
later date records a payment for "a stone of 'pick' (pitch?) for the 
Tarn at Mawater." Other references to fishing in Malham Tarn I have 
found bearing date 1711 : — "July 11. — Paid Robt. Whittaker for nine 
score lies of yarn for a large ffishing nett, 01/. 01s. 00c?. ;" " Paid 
Jacob Wright for twisting the said nine score lies of yarn and for 
knitting the said nett, being 150 yards square, casting 60 pieces of 
lead, and for cording and fitting up the nett, 031. 02s. 03d. ;" " Paid 
Jacob Wright, and others for ffishing Malham Tarn, 00/. 07s. OOd ;" 
"Paid their charges there and spent on Mr. Wilson, Mr. Swyre, 
Mr. Currer, Mr. King, and other gentlemen, that attended the fishing 
Malham Tarn, 00/. 19s. 06d." Among the Castle Evidences I read of 
" A certificate by y^ minisf^ and others of y® Towne of Kirkby in 
Malham Dale settinge forth That y'' Tarne on Malham Moore call'^ 
Malham Tarne always belong^^ to y® Lords and Owners of y® Castle and 
Hon'^ of Skipton, 17th of March Anno 1655." 

" Paid to William Townley for 6 lb. and 1 oz. of pepper for baking a stagg sent to 
Grafton ; for another sent to Westm'rland and Cumb'land for the assizes, 
&c., 18s. 8d. 
For ^-Ib. of sugar which Sir Stephen Tempest had in wyne, M." 

Sugar, therefore, cost, as the value of money even at that time went, 
Is. 8d. per pound. The price of a fat wether was scarcely that of two 
pounds of sugar. 

" It.— For 114 lbs. of malt delivered to the castle, £50. 
It.— To 60 muttons, £10. 

It. — Paid for four score lb. of sugar for my lady, £4. 
P'd for 6 cabishes, and some caret rootts bought at Hull, 2s. 

Given to for bringing two ropes of onyons from Hull, 6d. 

4 chickens and 24 eggs, Is. 6d, 
45 eggs at 5 a penny, 9d. 
4 pounds of butter. Is. id. 
A barrel of oysters, 5s." 

In several places we find allusion to the custom of strewing the floors 
of houses with rushes — the forerunner of carpets : — 

1609.— For 10 burden of rishes against the judge coming, 20d." 



From an inventory of the contents of Skipton Castle taken in 1572 we 
get a good idea of what was considered fit to enter into the formation of 
an earl's wardrobe at that time. My lord's gowns were numerous. 
They included one of black velvet, " laide w'th black laice furred with 
sqwyrels," gowns of damask and purple velvet, a gown of black satin, 
another black satin gown, " garded with velvet, layed with silke lace," 
and lined with buckram ; a cloak of velvet handsomely elaborated ; a 
black velvet jacket, embroidered with silver; and a black satin jacket, 
relieved with velvet and silver lace. Then there were jerkins of velvet 
and satin, lined with sarcenet and furred, and a ' kirtle,' or surcoat, of 
crimson velvet, lined with white sarcenet. His riding dress was of a very 
costly kind ; so was his horse-harness. We read of " one horse-harness 
for a trapper, sett w'th whit and blew, and enameled, and one covering 
of black vellvett, with a garde of gold, and enameled whyt and blewe, 
sutable for the same ;" and of '* harnesse of red vellvett," " harnesse of 
black velvett, imbrothered with silver gilted," and " clothe of tussaye, 
for covering of a courser at a tryumphe, with a frynge of red sylke and 
gold." Of riding-hats one was of crimson velvet, with a gold band j 
others were of velvet and bound with silver lace. Then the earl had a 
* morion ' (murrion) covered with crimson velvet and laid with gold lace, 
doublets of gold-embroidered velvet, sword girdles of red velvet, with 
gilted buckles, and gilted spurs. 

A Household Book for 1631 shows that my lord incurred the following 
expenditure in dress : — 

"A suite for my Lorde of fyne Spanish cloth, laced w'h 3 gould and silver 
Laces, w'h silke stockings, garters, Roses, and all things belonging there- 
unto, £40 8s. Id. 

For one other whole suite of cloth playne, £10 9s. 2d. 

For a Scarlett coat laced w'h one parchment gould lace, £10 9s. M. 

For a bever and gould band, £3 16s. Od. 

For a gold and sUver girdle and belt, £2 5s. Od. 

For 11 payre of white kidd gloves, and 2 paire of staggs leather, one plain, tother 
trim'd with gold lace and plush, £1 9s. 2d. 

A Mulmouth capp, tufted with plush and gold lace, £0 18s. Od. 

A sattin cap laced thick with gold and sUver lace, £0 16s. Oc^." 

A great amount of money went in travelling. About the year 1620 

Lord Clifford paid £88 3s. 9d. in travelling to London, a journey which 

occupied twelve days. In 1635 he went to Ireland, by way of Scotland, 

and the journey cost £312 4s. 7d. The party started from Skipton 

May 23rd, and returned (by way of Wales) September 20th. A few of 

the payments may be quoted : — 

" To 2 pipers at CarlUe, 3s. 
For a merlin that went to my ould Lord, £1 Os. Od. 


To the ringers at Carlile, 5s. 

To the poor at Dumfrees, 4s. 6d. 

To a piper there, 2s. 6d. • 

To my lord at cards, 10s. 

To the gardener that had his house burnt, 5s. 

To the poor at Maynooth, 2s. Qd. 

For washing all the servants, £1 9s. 4c?. 

To the prisoners at Clonmell, 6s. 

For carrying a hawk, Qd," 

It may be well next to glance briefly at the outdoor engagements 
of the Clifibrds. A very large portion of their Craven estate was 
ranged by deer, in the hunting of which lay a chief source of 
amusement. At one time no fewer than fifteen keepers were paid to 
guard the forests. There were the keepers for Grassington, for 
Buckden, for Barden, and for Langstrothdale ; for the Old Park, the 
New Park, and the Hawe about Skipton ; there were keepers for Thorpe 
Fell and for Littondale, another for Threshfield, as well as others. 
For there was no end of trouble from deer-slayers in those days. 
Yet woe to the man caught thus off'ending against his lord. In 1575 
one Thomas Frankland, "for killing and destroying deere, as well 
tame as wild and savage, in Littondale and Longstroth," was imprisoned 
in Skipton Castle, " there to remain during the Earles pleasure." 
Instances are also met with where deer-stealers have been let off after 
being bound upon their own recognizances, with two or more sureties, 
" to be of good abearing to the deer." One West, of Grassington, who 
lived in the time of Henry VIII. , was a particularly troublesome fellow. 
His daring brought him at last into the keep of the castle, where he 
was allowed to ruminate for some time. 

And here it will not be improper to refer to the dispute, arising 
from this very question of deer-hunting, which subsisted many years 
between the Cliffords and the Nortons of Eilstone. 

The Cliffords set up a claim to hunt within the manor of Eilstone. 
This the Nortons disputed, and from the question many a quarrel 
arose. When the deer of the Parks of Skipton strayed within the 
Eilstone forest the Nortons impounded them. The Cliffords alleged 
indeed that their deer were deliberately driven or enticed into their 
enemies' grounds. More than once the issues were before the legal 
courts. A curious letter written by the Privy Council in the reign of 
Henry VIII. in answer to Norton's complaint is preserved. It is as 
follows : — 

"Whereas complaynt hath lately byn made to the Queues Highness [Catherine 
Parr] that my Lorde of Cumberlande, p'tending right of forest w'thiu certayne 


grounds belonging to John Norton wher ye sayd Norton dothe clayme Free Warren, 
hathe now of late not onlie intruded ther, but causyd alsoe sundrie of his s'vants 
to cast downe ye hedges and dykes, &c., 

"This shal bee to advertize yow that ye Queues Graces pleasure is that yo' 
putting my sd Lord of Cumb'rlande in rem'brance what unmet a tyme this is for 
th' attempting of such thinges, the Kinges Majestic beyng now owte of ye realme, 
yow shall wth good delyberation as yow may tak such ordre yn this mattr as to 
reason and good equitie shall ap'tayne; and if you shall not tak anie final ordre, 
yet staying yn such sorte as ye pece and good quyet of ye contre bee by neythr 
of you empeched. And thus we byd yr good L'p most heartelee fare wel. — 
T. Cantuaeien, Th. Wrotheslet, Cane. Th. Westm., E. Hektfokd, W. Petee. — 
From WestW this xix day of July, 1544" 

This letter was addressed to ' Lord Therle, of Shrewsburie, the Kinges 
Majesties Lieut'-general in ye North e.' It was about the same time 
that the right of hunting within the township of Eilstone came to 
be inquired into by the President and Council of the Court at York. 
The Cliffords held that Rilstone was included in the Forest of Skipton, 
and the following evidence was called to support their plea. We 
get from it an interesting picture of hunting in Craven in the old 
times :-^ 

" Thomas Garth, of Bolton Canons, keeper of the king's woods there,* 
of the age of 74 years, deposeth — That he hath been at general views 
and ranges taken in the forest of Skipton, and saith that Thomas Garth, 
his grandfather, was Master Forster there in King Richard's time, when 
this deponent was very young. He also knew Hemy Popeley, Forster 
in my lord's father's days, and went with him when he went to range 
and view the deer ; also he went a ranging with Henry Radclifife, which 
was Master Forster after Popeley ; and then Henry Martin, and then 
master Anthony Clifford ; then master Thomas Clifford ; and then Sir 
Roger Bellingham; and after him was the prior of Bolton; and such 
times as he was with them they began at the ' Round Topt Esh,' within 
the same forest, to Eshton ; then to Hetton ; from Hetton to Rilston, 
then to Cracoe, then to Thorpe, then to Burnsall, and so into the heart 
of the forest of Skipton. 

" Robert Kitchen, of Skipt»n, of the age of 70 years, deposeth — That 
he hath been at divers views and ranges of the deer in the forest of 
Skipton, at the commandment of master Henry Popeley, forster to my 
lord's father that now is. They began to range at the * Round Topt 

* It should be noted that this was in the interval coming between the dissolution of Bolton 
Priory and the granting of the possessions attached thereto to the first Earl of Cumberland— 
1539 to 1542. 


Esh/ and from thence to Flasby, and so to Eshton, thence to Rilston, 
and so to Burnsal. 

" Lancelot Marton, of Eshton, Esquire, saith — That he was a boy, and 
together with his father he did see the keepers of Skipton Forest hunt 
and chase deer out of the grounds of Rilston ; and also myne old lady 
Clifford divers times, to bring deer forth of Rilston, without any let ; 
and this deponent saw old lady Clifford, mother to my lord of Cum- 
berland that now is, hound her greyhounds within the said grounds of 
Rilston, and chase deer, and have them away at her leisure, both red 
and fallow, till now of late that master Norton hath walled his grounds 
of Rilston, where the Forsters were wont to walk, and to draw my lord 
of Cumberland's deer into his ground he hath made a wall on an high 
rigge, beside a quagmire, and at the end of the wall he hath rayled the 
ground, so that it is a destruction to my lord's deer, so many as come. 

" Robert Kitchin, of Skipton, yeoman, set. 60, deposeth — That he was 
one of the Forsters of the Old Park of Skipton twenty-three years; hath 
hunted and chased out the deer in Rilston Lordship to every other place 
where he would in the forest of Skipton ; he did see my old lady Clifford 
hunt in Rilston Lordship, and set the hounds and greyhounds, and kill 
two bucks there, and carry them off; and Thomas Garth, keeper at that 
time, had the shulders for his fee; and there was with her, at one 
course. Sir Thomas Tempest, knight. Sir Thomas Darcy, knight. Master 
Viewers, and many others ; and this deponent saith he had walked there 
an hundred times as Forster and Keeper of the Old Park. 

" Thomas Roberts, of Embsay, was servant to Robert Garth, keeper ; 
and kept his master's room ; and did many times walk in the grounds of 
Rilston ; and fi'om the grounds into the forest ; he did see my lord that 
now is set his course (in or to) Rilston, and hound gTeyhounds at the 
deer there ; and my lord Latimer hunted in Litbank and Houden, and 
Robert Garth had the schulders for his fee. 

"At one time master John Norton gate leave of my old lord for 
a morcel of flesh for his wife's churching ; and the said Garth hunted 
and killed a grete fatt stagg ; and so one half thereof went to Berden, 
and master Norton had the other half; and Garth had the shulders 
and the ombles ; and he saith that Robert Langton, servant to the 
said master Norton, wont with this deponent to Barden, to know 
whether the said master Norton should have the whole stagg or 
the half; and so he had but the half. 


"John Steyninge, of Crookrise, Keeper, many times, both day and 
night, hath chased out of Eilston into the forest of Skipton all the 
deer that he could find there ; he hath seen my lord that now is, 
with his company, hunt in Rilston, and hound thirty brace of deer, 
both horned and not horned, and kill all they might, both red and 
fallow, because they would not abide out of that ground." 

The result of this law-suit, if it ever had result, is not known. 

Several entries of payment of money in respect of services rendered 
in connection with hunting may be introduced : — 

" To Lister Symonson, in p't for kepying his lo'jj's deere at Birks, 25s. 
Tor going to Londesbro with the great buck of Threshfield, 9s. 
Four men that brought the wild beastes from Craven. . . ." 

It appears that whenever a nobleman killed a buck in the grounds 
of one of his friends, he made the keeper a substantial present : — 

"Given to the keepers of Wighil-park, Mr. Hen. Stapleton's men, my lo. having 
killed two buckes in his parks, 20s." 

The keeper also expected a gift when delivering venison. Upon 
one occasion Earl Francis sent a present of half a stag to Dr. Lister, 
of York, who rewarded the bearer with a shilling. This meagre gift 
is recorded in the Household Book, probably as a thing notable. 

But it was impossible to be always hunting, however fascinating 
that sport. The long winter evenings came round, and these must 
be whiled away. Study was at a discount among the nobility in 
those days. Oftentimes the minstrel was called in : — 

" Payd to the French Wheyn Mynstrell 3s. 4d 
To the music of York, when my Lord Digby was here at Skipton, £5." 

Frequently also companies of players found a welcome at Skipton 
Castle : — 

" To Lord Willowby's men playing at this hows twice, 30s. 
Given to the waites of Halifaxe, who plaied in the Court, Sir Step. Tempest 

being there, 2s. 
Given to my Lord Wharton his players, who played one playe before my Lord 

and the Ladies at Hazlewood. 
Given to a set of players, going by the name of ye King's players, who played 

3 times, £3. 
To certain players, itinerants, £1. 
To a certeyne company of roguish players, who represented ' A New Way to 

Pay Old Debts,' £1. 
Given to a company of players, my Lord Vawses men, in reward not playing, 

because it was Lent, and therefore not fitting, 10s." 


In 1606 Francis Earl of Cumberland made the following payment 
whilst resident at Skipton : — 

" Item, paid to the yonge men of the town, being his I'p's tenants and servants, 
to fit them for acting plays this Christmas, 4s." 

The Cliffords do not appear, like many nobles of not higher standing, 
to have kept a company of minstrels or players as a part of the 

If we glance at the farm-yard and the stable of the Cliffords we 
at no time find a very large stock of cattle and sheep, or of horses. 
At the time we are dealing with the value of a cow was from £1 10s. 
to £2, A sheep could be bought for 2s. ; and a stone of wool was 
worth two ewes. A sixteenth century inventory shows the horses to 
be then thirty-six in number, The naming of them is very curious. 
We meet with Grey Clifford, White Dacre, White Tempest, Bay 
Tempest, and Bay Myddleton. 

I conclude this chapter with a miscellaneous selection of entries 
from the Household Books : — 

" Paid for a quayle pipe for poudring hair. 
3 lb. of Damaske powder for lynen at 4s. per lb., 12s. 
To Roger the piper, his reward for attending here in X'mas, 10s." 

This is a relic of minstrelsy, which has been alluded to before. 

" To ould Symon of Carlile for a cast of merlins, £1 10s." 

The merlin was a very small hawk. 

" For 114 lbs. of malt delivered to the castle last year, £50. 
To 60 muttons, £10. 
To Sir Ralph Assheton's man that brought my lady a basket of apricocks, 

2s. Gd. 
To I. H. for his journey to Woodstock with a horse given by my lo. to the 

kinge, £2. 
Paid for four score lb. of sugar for my lady, £4 Os. Od. 
For getting 33 pearch and troot from Mawater for my lo. and judge, 2s. Gd. 
P'd to Xtopher Beckewith, ye old man, for going about my lo. catle and shepe 

in evrie place here in Craven, to kepe them, with God's helpe, from the 

murryn, or any other sickness, 5s." 

May we suppose this venerable personage to have been a wise-man 1 
A Skipton wiseman and ' astrological doctor ' of a century later will be 
introduced elsewhere. 

" By my lordes appointm't, to my lord Clifford, my la. Clifford, my la. Marg't, 
and my la. Frances, to each of them in gold 10 twenty shilling peices, as new 
year's guift, £43 Os. Od." 


The custom of making gifts to friends on New- Year's day was 
formerly more common than at present. 

" P'd Sir W'm Paddie for his opinion in prescribing my lo. a course for taking of 

phisicke, £3 6s. 
Dr. Lister in golde, for the like, £2 3s. 
A lease of hawkes, £16. 
To D, Trusler, for taking 60 doz. of pigeons for hawksmeat, £1." 

Hawking was clearly an expensive sport. 

" P'd for a pair of carnation silk stockings, and a pair of asshe-coloured taffata 

garters and roses, edged with silver lace, given by my lo. to Mrs. Douglas 

Shiefeld, she drawing my lo. for her valentyne, £3. 10s. 
To my lo. Clifford for his journey to Normanbie, to be the King's deputy at the 

cristening of my lo. Sheffield his son, £10. 
Given to my lo. to play at Tables in the Great Chamber, 5s. 
P'd to his lo. losses at shovelboard, 10s. 
His Maj'ies new yeares gift, presented in gold, £20. 
Disbursed in my lady's journey from London to Londesbro', being eleven days, 

with 33 horses, £68. 18s. M. 
Delivered to his lordship for his journey from London to the court at York, £50. 
Given to T. Preston, Bayliffe of Long Preston, a reward for discovery of gold 

found there, two trees, value 10s." 

The remaining entries are from the Household Books now at Bolton 
Abbey. The first are of date 1620 : — 

"February 19.— Paid this day to Mr. Tirrie, the Goldsmith, the sum of £26 

19s. 6d. for 1 dozen silver spoones, 1 salte, 1 Colledg pott, 3 hanger saltes, 1 

Tankard ; and there was delivered to him in old i^late towards the payment 

thereof 4 Footmen's badges, 1 old colledge pott, 1 greate quilte bowle, broken, 

withe cover, and a lesser quilte bowl, which came to £25 4s. 8c^. 
For two paire of tongs and 2 fyer sho\els f6r my Lo. Clifford's chamber, and for 

my little Miss her chamber. 
For a warming pan, 7d. 
To my Lord's hyndes that are hyred to foUowe the husbandrie ocasions, for one 

whole yeares wages ending at Martinmas, every one of them having 

£5 13s. id. 
To the Cobler of Blyth for bringing newes that my La. Frances was D.D. of a 

daughter upon Sunday 22 October, 2s. 6d, 
To a messenger that brought his L'pp's writt for summons to the Parliament, 5s. 
To James Foster his boy, who brought some sweete meats from Mr. Todd to my 

Lo., 2d. 
To a man that brought a Doe from Sir Henrie Constable, Viscount Dunbarr, to 

the keeper, 10s. 
Upon one that brought some ginger breade and a pott of jellie to my Lord from 

Mr. Harbert, 2s. 6d. 
To the King's trumpetters that came and sounded at my Lo.'s Lodgings at his 

coming to London, in Gold 1 peece. ' 
The same day to the Prince his Trumpetters, who came lykewise and sounded, 

Twentie shillings. 
To 5 musitians who came and plaid all diner tyme, 10s. 


To Nathaniel the Cooke, who came to his L'p with a dish of cockles, 7s, 6d. 

To the Porter at my La. Craven's, Is. ; to the Poore in the streets by the way, 

2s. 6d. 
To the waits at Westminster who plaid at my Lo. chamber window at supper 

tyme, 5s. 
To a man which brought a Theorbo w'h my Lo. borrowed for Mr. Earsdon to 

play upon, 2s. 6d. 
To the poore Prisoners at Ludgate, and to the poore all along the way as his Lo'p 

went to the Tower, &c., 15s. 
To one of the King's bottle men who brought 2 bottles of wyne to his L'p, 5s. 
To Mr. Gill, the Barber, who did trunme my Lord before his L'p went to 

Court, 5s. 
To Mary, IVL-s. Danby's maid, who brought some Puddings to his L'p from her 

Mrs., besides 12d. which his L'p gave the boy, 2s. Qd." 

In February, 1622, Charles Clifford, son of Sir Henry (afterwards 
Earl), died. The following entries relate to the occurrence : — 

" Feb. 28. — Paid this day for the charges of Mr. Jonas, Mr. Tailor, the Parson, 
Mr. Edward Dempsay, Cornelius Atkinson, Peter Pulman, Edward Paley, 
Two footmen, and 7 horses going to Skipton with the bodie of my little 
sweete maister, Mr. Charles Clifford, tvhen he went to be buried, the sum of four 
Pounds, and what we gave upon the way to the poore in coming and going. 

To Mr. Doctor Downe, of Yorke, the some of 31. for his paines in coming to 
Londsbrough and staying twoe dales to give his advice and some phisicke to 
my little maister Mr. Charles Clifford. 

For a Barren of Twyaske bought for my little Maister, 6d., for wormseed id., for 
making his coffin 2s. ; for pitch and nailes to it lOd. ; for an ell of fine Hollan 
for a wynding sheete for my little Maister, 5s. 6d." 

The name of this Charles Clifford appears on a mural tablet in the 
Skipton Parish Church. 

•'To Marmaduke Trusley, for taking Pigeons for his L'pp's Hawkes, the soma 

of 20s. 
For bringing a Virginall, w'h a winde instrument in it, and mending two 

Theorboes and one Lute, for my Lord, 30s. 
For a swanne skinne finely drest for his L'p's arme when it was hurt, Sd. 
To his L'p's owne hands in the great parlour before dinner 20s., and it was to play 

at gleek w'h my Lo. Clifford, Mr. Hughes, and Mr. Christofer. 
To my Lo. at his going to court, to a maske, 20s. 

This was when my Lord was in London. 

For a quartern of a pound of good Tobacco for his L'p, his L'p having heretofore 

bespoken some tobacco of him, 5s. 
To his L'p's owne hands in golde 3 peeces, for his L'p to bett upon my Lo. 

Clifford's horse at the Race at Lincoln. 
1634. — 14 Oct. — This day paid to my ould Lord- in his L'p's owne hand, £0 5s. Od, 
The same day to my Lord, being at Cards w'h S'r Arthur Ingram, £1 Os. Od. 
Delivered to my little Mrs. to play at cards, £0 5s. Od. 
To Duke Shillito, owing him for trimming my Lord, £1 2s. Od, 
For a Spanish lether capp for myne old Lord, £0 Is. lOrf. 



To 2 Taylers w'ch helped Roger Ball to make upp the new bedd for my Lo. of 

Northumberland's chamber, £0 5s. 6d. 
A suit of fyne Lysbia cloth for a suite and cloake lyned w'h plush w'h ye 

appurten'ts for my Lo. of Cumberland, as by the p'ticulars appears, the sum 

of £24 16s. M. 
2 prs of kidds lether gloves for his L'pp and one pare of stagg's lether washt, 

£0 8s. lOd. 
For my Lo. Cliff orde, bought at Lon. : a suit of fyne Bogovia cloth laced w'h a 

gold and silver lace, vizt., suite, cloake, stockings, and all things belonging to 

the making up of the same, £18 9s. 2d. 
A payre of fyne silke stockings for his L'p, £1 15s. Od. 
A Diamond cutt looking glass for his L'p, £0 10s. Od 
J of the best poudder for hayre, £0 10s. Od. 
A guilt pick tooth case and 12 dozen of pickteeth, £0 Is. 6d. 
A little curry comb for my little Mris., £0 3s. Od. 
21bs. of Spanish Tobacco at 10s. the pound. 
A cane w'h an ivory head for his Lord, £0 3s. Od. 
4 bookes bought for his Lor'pp, £0 4s. lOd. 
To the Bone Setter who came to my little Mris., in reward for his service done to 

her, £1 Os. Od. 
Musicians, itinerants, w'ch played to my Lady, £0 2s. Od, 

Altogether, these extracts give us a good idea of baronial life nearly 
three centuries ago. In many respects it presents striking contrasts 
when placed side by side with the high-life of to-day. 



jo consider in chronological order the military events with 
which the town and the castle of Skipton have been 
connected, it will be necessary first to go back more than 
seven huudred years. Not the clearest light, it is true, 
illumines our way, but the light we have glimmers over scenes which for 
mournfulness and desolation surpass any which the whole course of local 
annals can furnish. And after all, were it well for horrors unutterable 
to be discovered fully to us ? 


The twelfth and fourteenth centuries were gloomy, sorrowful periods for 
Craven. Situated at not a great distance from the border, it shared in 
all the miseries which followed the Scottish inroads. These were veiy 
frequent. The fourteenth century Compotus of Bolton gives insights 
to many dark, unhappy incidents, to many scenes of desolation and 
woe; — in their awfulness approaching nearly to that of han-ied 
Yorkshire three centuries before.* The earliest appearance of these 
marauders in Craven of which we have any record was in 1138, while 
David, King of Scotland, was engaged in the siege of Norham. He at 
this time despatched a portion of his troops, under his nephew, William 
Fitz Duncan, who desolated the whole of Craven, and committed the 

* "At the time the scene was so fearful that the contemporary writers seem to lack words 

to set forth its full horrors Before tlie end of the year Yorkshire was a wilderness. 

The bodies of its inhabitants were rotting in the streets, in the higliways, or on their o>vn 
hearthstones, and those who had escaped from sword, tire, and hunger had lied out of the 
\&Xid."—F)eeman on the Harrying of the North. 


most brutal outrages upon its inhabitants.* In 1152, fourteen years 
later, David, by force of arms, established Fitz Duncan in the honour of 
' Sciptun and Crafna.' John Prior of Hexham, from whom Whitaker 
quotes, has the following record in relation to this struggle : — " A..D. 
1152. Et rex tunc cum exercitu suo confirmavit Willielmum filium 
Dunecani nepotem suum in Honorem de Sciptun et Crafna, 
munitiunculamque ah hostibus constructam effregit, ejectisque militibus 
diruit." The italicised passage, ("he destroyed a small fortress 
constructed by the enemy,") is of some interest. There is no reason to 
doubt that Skipton Castle would sturdily oppose the invaders : and the 
question arises. Can it be that the castle is referred to in the description 
mimitiuncula ? This incursion took place in 1152, and the following 
passage from Holinshed appears to throw a ray of light upon the 
subject. Speaking of the Isle of Wight, the historian says : — " The 
first earl of this island that I do read of was one Baldwyne de Betoun, 
who married for his second wife the daughter of William le Grosse, Earl 
of Aumarle [Albemarle], but he dicing without issue by this lady, she 
was married the second time to Earl Maundevile, and thirdly to 
William de Fortis [Fortibus], wJio finished Skipton Castell, which his 
wife^s father had begun about the time of King Richard the First." 
William le Gross died 1179, 25 Hen. 11, (ten years before Richard I. 
began to reign). Putting, therefore, side by side the fact that William 
Fitz Duncan, when established in the honour of Skipton in 1152, 
ravaged Craven and destroyed a fortress defended against him, and the 
fact (if we may rely upon Holinshed) that his successor had some time 
before 1179 begun the erection of a castle at Skipton, can it be 
concluded that the fortress destroyed was the one at Skipton? 
Alluding to the extract from the Prior of Hexham which is given 
above, Whitaker says : — " There are no vestiges that I know of this 
munitiuncula. It seems most probable that the enemies of William 
would hold Skipton Castle itself against him ; but the Prior of Hexham 
would scarcely call it a munitiuncula ; and still less would David 
destroy the seat of his barony." Certainly this last proposition seems a 
reasonable one.t The question, in fact, can scarcely perhaps be decided 

* See pp. 5 and 6. 

f Whitaker elsewhere incidentally remarks that the ' munitiuncula ' may have occupied the 
position to which Dodsworth alludes in the follo\ving sentence :— " At Elslack is a close called 
Borwins or Burwens ; it hath a hill in the midst thereof, whereon there stood a castle called 
Burwen Castle ; it hath been arable land this fifty or sixty years : they say it was besieged and 
raised by the Danes." Yet it seems probable after all that Burwens was a Roman camp. Mr. 
A. W. Morant, the editor of the third edition of Whitaker, strongly inclines to this theory. 


either way satisfactorily. It is one regarding which everyone must pass 
his own judgment. 

The battle of Bannockburn — in which Robert de Clifford, first Lord 
of Skipton, was slain — was fought in June, 1314, and before a united 
Scotland the power of England was crushed. After they had inflicted 
this most humiliating defeat upon their southern enemy, the Scots, in 
order to show their contempt for it, repeatedly ravaged the shires 
adjoining the border. Frequently they oven-an Yorkshire, and Craven — 
a district from its pastoral nature offering unusual temptations to the 
plunderers — then shared in the general suffering. Again and again the 
prior and canons of Bolton, as well as humbler inhabitants, sought 
safety in Skipton Castle in time of peril. In 1317 many Craven 
churches were ruthlessly pillaged, and in consequence the canons' 
ecclesiastical possessions were taxed at a lower rate than before. Thus 
the taxation of the living of Carleton was reduced from twelve to seven- 
and-a-half marks. Notwithstanding that their possessions had so greatly 
depreciated in value, the canons did not escape paying the King's 
Tenth, although that was upon a reduced assessment. And further — 
and to their honour it is said — they did not, in all their difficulties, 
neglect to help those of their tenants who were in a much worse 
plight than themselves. Thus in the year 1317 the Compotus shows 
them to have given — *' Condonatio tenent. de Emsay, Estby, et Preston, 
p'pter invasion' Scotorum.'^ In this year the prior of Bolton appears to 
have fled into Blackburnshire at the coming of the Scots, for we read of— 
" Exp's. ejusd. [that is, Prior] in Blackburnshire in adventu Scotorum, 
xxs. id. ob." A portion of the goods was conveyed from the priory to 
Skipton Castle, and thus was saved. The castellan was rewarded for 
this ; — " Baldewin Tyays, Constabul. de Castri de Skipton, pro bonis 
salvand. k Scotis, xiii5. \id." 

In the year 1318 the incursions of the Scots were more frequent and 
more serious than ever. The Compotus records that the granges of 
Halton, Carleton, Embsay, and Stede were destroyed. The cattle were 
also driven from Halton, as appears from the following entry : — " Boves. 
Apud Halton nulli, quia omnes effugabantur per Scotos." The canons 
fled to Skipton Castle, and were safe, although we cannot suppose that 
the fortress would escape molestation.* 

It was at this time that the ravages of which Holinshed speaks were 

* "In expens. canon, commorant. in castro de Skipton in adventu Sector, et alibi, v«. iid." 
-Compotus of Bolton. 


committed : — " The Earl of Murray and Lord James Dowglasse in the 
month of Maie invaded England with a puisant armie, passing further 
into the countrie than the Scots had been accustomed to doo before 
time, burning as they went forwards the towns of Northallerton and 
Borrowbridge ; and coming to Rippon they spoiled the town of all the 
goods found therein, but compounding with them that kept the church 
against them for a thousand marks, they forbare to burn anie of the 
buildings. After they had tarried here three daies they departed 
thence and went to Knaresborough, which town they burnt, and 
beating the woods, into which the people were withdrawn with their 
goods and cattell, they got a great bootie, and returning homewards hy 
Scipton in Graven, they first spoiled the toivne, and after burnt it, and so 
marching through the countrie came back into Scotland with their 
spoiles and prisoners without anie resistance." Baker says: — "The 
Scots won the castles of Harbottle, Wark, and Midford, so as they 
possessed the greater part of all Northumberland, burning all before 
them till they came to Rypon, which Town they spoiled, and tarrying 
there three dayes they received a Thousand Marks to save the Town 
from burning, as they had done the Towns of Northallerton, Borough- 
Bridge, and others. In their returning back they burnt Knaresborough, 
and Shipton in Craven, and all other afore them, carrying into 
Scotland a marvellous number of Cattel, besides Prisoners, men and 

In 1319 the ravages were continued, and for this reason no Compotus 
was this year kept by the canons of Bolton. In 1320, and again in 
1321, the priory of Bolton was pillaged. In the former year the prior 
withdrew to York, and many of the canons to Hither; while in the 
latter year the canons dispersed to Skipton Castle, Worksop, Kirkhara, 
St. Oswald of Nostel, and to other places. All this is seen from the 
Compotus. In the margin of the Coucher Book, remarks Whitaker, is 
this memorandum : — " Le prior & sez Homes fled ae Castle de Skipton 
per Feare dez Scottes !" — veritable ^confusion of tongues,' this. 

The foregoing are only a few instances of the sufferings that fell 
upon the canons of Bolton during the early years of the fourteenth 
century. Life was then in constant peril, and property was held on 
very unstable tenure. The Castle of Skipton was frequently assailed 
by these Scottish marauders, and doubtless the retainers of the then 
lords of Skipton woiild oppose them to the best of their power. Collins 
in his Peerage, speaking of Robert de Clifford (born 1305), son of the 
first Lord Clifford, says : — " He built some parts of Skipton Castle, 


which had suffered much by the Scots." Nicholson, the Airedale 
Poet, in his " Airedale in Ancient Times," alludes to the incursions of 
the Scots : — 

" With conquest &ed, the Northerns sallied down, 
To plunder Gargrave's lone deserted town ; * 
The blazing brands within the church they hurled, 
And soon the flames around the altar curled ; 
While from the burning roof the molten lead 
Dropped on the tombstones of the dead ; 
The blood-red sun sank slowly in the west, 
As by the dreadful scene of woe oppressed ; 
But plunder ceased not in the shades of night : 
The blazing ruins lent a baleful light, — 
Till Skipton's sons appeared, with banners red : 
The Scots beheld their glitt'ring arms and fled ! " 

Thus speaks Nicholson of the prowess of our forefathers : his 
authority is not given. 


For the introduction here of a brief reference to the Battle of Flodden 
Field, no apology can be needed, since in that decisive struggle Henry 
Clifford, the "Shepherd Lord," at the head of a troop of Craven 
soldiers, took a distinguished part. The battle was fought in 
September, 1513, and a very circumstantial account appears in a long 
ballad written some fifty years afterwards, — it is said by one Richard 
Jackson, a schoolmaster, of Ingleton, though this seems very doubtful.! 

The Earl of Surrey was at that time lieutenant-general of the 
northern counties of England, and to his summons the nobility and 
gentry with their retainers readily responded. The old ballad says : — 

" Sir Marmaduke Constable stout 
Attended with his seemly sons. 
Sir William Bulmer with his rout. 
Lord Clifford with his chopping guns." 

* "On the north-west side of Coniston Moor is a place called Sweet Cap, where tradition 
reports that the inhabitants of Gargrave made a stand against a party of Scottish invaders, 
and were cut off almost to a man. Gargrave, according to the same tradition, had then seven 
churches, six of which these destroyers biwnt, and spared the seventh for the merit of being 
dedicated to their own national Saint Andrew."— Whitalcer. 

t A copy of the entire ballad, printed at Preston in 1773, is before me. It is entitled 
" The I Battle | of | Flodden Field ; | 'S\liicli was fought | Between the English under the Earl 
of Surrey | (In the Absence of King Henry VIII.) | and | The Scots under their valiant King 
James IV. | who | Was Slain on the Field of I'.attle, | In the year 1513. | An heroic | Poem | In 
nine Fits or Parts | collected | From aiitient manuscripts. | By Joseph Benson, Philomath." 
It contains 574 stanzas of four lines. It is written in alliterative metre. 


Allusion is made to Clifford's early history: — 

" Next to Lord Admiral in field 

The lusty Knight Lord Clifford went ; 
Him had a shepherd's garb conceal'd 
While twice twelve years were gone and spent. 

For when his father at Wakefield 

York's Duke and eke his son had slain, 
By friends in this wise he had f eal'd 

Till Richmond's Earl began his reign. 

Who him restored to all his right 

And seated him in his sire's land ; 
Or else to death he had been dight, 

While th' House of York had the up-hand. 

Now like a captain bold he brought 

A band of lusty lads elect ; 
Whose curious coats, cunningly wrought, 

With dreadful dragons were bedeckt. 

From Penigent to Pendle-hHl, 

From Linton to Long Addingham, 
And all that Craven coasts did till . . 

They with the lusty Clifford came. 

All Staincliffe hundred went with him, 

With striplings strong from Whorledale, 
And all that Hauton-hills did climb, 

With Longstroth eke and Litton Dale. 

Whose milk-fed fellows fleshly bred, 

Well brown'd, with sounding bows upbend, 
AU such as Horton fells had fed 

On Clifford's banners did attend." 

Clifford commanded in the vanguard of the great English army. 
Hall, the chronicler, says that " the Erie [of Surrey] and his counsayll 
with greate deliberacion. appointed his battayles in order with wynges 
and with ryders necessarie. Fyrste of the forwarde was Capitayne the 
lorde Howarde, Admyrale of Englande, with suche as came from the 
sea, and with him Syr Nicholas Applyarde, Syr Stephen Bull, Syr 
Henry Shyreburne, Syr William Sydney, Syr Edwarde Echyngham, 
lorde Clifforde, the lorde Conyers, the lorde Latymer, the lorde Scrope 
of Upsale," &c. The result of this battle is known only too well. 
More than ten thousand of King James' soldiers were slain. Truly 
might Scott say that — 

. . . , " Shivered was fair Scotland's spear. 
And broken was her shield." 

Nicholson, the Airedale poet, in his " Lyre of Ebor," gives an account 


of the battle of Flodden, interweaving with it many local incidents. 
He speaks in rapturous words of the reception of the news of victory 
in Craven : — 

" The heralds soon arrived in Barden Tower, 
And told the downfall of proud Scotland's power ; 
The virgins dance, the aged butler sings, 
And Wharfe's fine vale with shouts of triumph rings. 
Methinks I see the ploughman leave his plough, 
The loyal farmer lay aside his hoe ; 
The churn is stopped, while listening stands the maid — 
The aged ditcher rests upon his spade ; 
While jocund youths rejoicing leave their play ; 
Shout o'er the fields, — to Barden haste away. 
The frugal dame, who spins some wealth to save. 
Looks to the towers, and sees the banners wave ; 
Then on the hill which overhangs the vale 
First glitters Clifford's bright and shining mail ; 
While on each head the plumes of Craven dance, 
A thousand flashes varying from each lance. 
The victors' shout is answered in the woods. 
And echo bears the triumph down the floods." 

Many years ago the Rev. W. Carr, of Bolton Abbey, discovered 
among the Household Books of the Cliffords a list of the followers of 
the Shepherd Lord at this battle. It is too long for quotation, and 
therefore the Craven townships which are shown to have contributed to 
Clifford's troop are alone named: — Marton, 14 men; Grassington, 4 
Addingham, 9 ; Hawkswick, 2 ; Flasby, 8 ; Littondale, 6 ; Arncliffe, 3 
Langstrothdale, 18; Giggleswick, 20; Settle, 34; Stainforth, 17 
Langcliflfe, 9 ; Glusburn, 2 ; Thorlby, 3 ; Embsay-with-Eastby, 4 
Halton, 3 ; Steeton, 8 ; Sutton, 2 ; Kildwick, 3 ; Cowling, 4 ; Beamsley, 
4 ; Appletreewick, 7 ; Eshton, 1 ; Bradley, 4 ; Farnhill, 4 ; Morton 
Banks, 11; Keighley, 47; Bolton-by-Bolland, 14; Rimmington, 18; 
Hellifield and Newton, 9; Carletou, 11; Littondale, 18; Arncliffe, 7; 
total, 328. It is rather strange that Skipton, which must have 
contributed largely to the troop, is not mentioned ; nor are 
Silsden and several other places of importance. Probably, however, 
only a portion of the roll was discovered. Lord Clifford survived the 
battle of Flodden Field nearly ten years. 

In his account of the battle of Flodden Field Holinshcd says : — 
"Also in like manner all the Scottish ensigns were taken, and a two 
and twentie peices of great ordinaunce, among the which were seaven 
culverines of a large assize, and very faire peices. King James 
named them, for that they were in making one verie like to another, 


the Seaven Sisters." It appears that three of these pieces came to 
the share of ClifFord, for in an inventory of the contents of the 
castle made in 1572 there is the entry, among those of ordnance : — 

" Item, III of the seven susters." 

In this gift the Enghsh king did great honour to Lord CHfford. 


During the insurrection in 1536 known as the Pilgrimage of Grace, 
Skipton Castle was besieged by a huge force of rebels under Robert 
Aske. " Forty thousand Rustics," says Speed, " assembled in York- 
shire, furnished with Horse, Armour, Artillery, and Abillements for 
warre, threatned to set the stay of Estate upon the props of their 
giddy inventions. Their pretence was Religion, and defence of holy 
Church, their Banners painted w^ith the five wounds of our Lord, the 
Challice, the Cake, and other like inventions of Rome, and upon 
their sleeves was writ the name of the Lord; and so forward and 
fervent were they in their proceedings that this their attempt must 
be termed the Holy Pilgrimage." But the insurrectionists were not 
all " rustics." Among them were the Lord Archbishop of York, Lord 
Darcy, of Templehurst, and many of the lesser clergy. Aske, the 
leader, was related to the Cliffords. 

The rising took place in the autumn, and it spread throughout 
Yorkshire with amazing rapidity. " From hill to hill," says Froude, 
" from church tower to church tower, the warning lights were shooting. 
The fishermen on the German Ocean watched them flickering in the 
darkness from Spurnhead to Scarborough, from Scarborough to Berwick- 
upon-Tweed. They streamed westward, over the long marshes across 
Spalding Moor ; up the Ouse and the Wharfe to the watershed where 
the rivers flow into the Irish Sea. The mountains of Westmorland 
sent on the message to Kendal, to Cockermouth, to Penrith, to Carlisle ; 
and for days and nights there was one loud storm of bells and blaze 
of beacons from the Trent to the Cheviot Hills. All Yorkshire was 
in movement." 

The proclamation of the rebels stated their demands to be : — (1) 
Restoration of the religious houses ; (2) remission of the recently-made 
subsidy; (3) exemption of the clergy from the payment of tenths and 
first-fruits to the Crown; (4) repeal of the Statute of Uses; (5) the 


removal of villein blood from the Privy Council; (6) the deposition 
and punishment of the heretic Bishops Cranmer, Latimer, Hilsey, 
Brown, and Louglands. 

The loyalists looked to Lord Darcy for orders. "The Earl of 
Cumberland," says Froude, " wrote to him from Skipton Castle, Sir 
Brian Hastings, the sheriff, Sir Richard Tempest, and many others. 
They would raise the men, they said, and either join him at Pomfret, 
or at whatever place he chose to direct." But Darcy was unmovable ; 
he would do nothing, nor would he order anything to be done. His 
apathy encouraged the rebels, as it was meant to do, and early in 
October it was decided that one portion of the force should besiege 
Hull, which had sided with the King (Henry VIII.), while the main 
body should push on to York. They swept everything before them. 
" They surrounded the castles and houses, and called on every lord, 
knight, and gentleman to mount his horse, with his servants, and join 
them, or they would leave neither corn-stack in their yards nor cattle 
in their sheds, and would burn their roofs over their heads." In two 
days the rebels stood before York, and without opposition Aske took 
possession of the city. He at once invited all monks and nuns who 
had been turned from their houses to " report their names and condi- 
tions, with a view to their immediate restoration." Within a few days 
Pomfret surrendered, and Lord Dai-cy, who had ostensibly entered the 
town for safety, and for the purpose of defending it on the king's 
behalf, oj)enly professed his sympathies with the rebels. With him, 
the Archbishop of York and otlier dignitai-ies allied themselves with 
the insurrectionists. Meanwhile, Hull had been obtained by another 
force of rebels, and " so it went," says Froude, " over the whole nortli ; 
scarcely one blow was struck anywhere. The whole population were 
swept along in the general current, and Skipton Castle alone in York- 
shire now held out for the Croivn." 

One historian"'' says that on October 26th, " Aske and his followers 
being now in Pomfret, Lancaster the Herald came with a Proclamation 
from the Earl of Shrewsbury, requiring it to be read. But Aske, 
sitting in state, and having the Arch-Bishop on the one hand and the 
Lord Darcy on the other, desired first to know the contents, which, 
being told, he said it should not be proclaimed. Nevertheless, he gave 
the Herald a safe conduct as long as he ware his coat. But the Rebels, 
not contented thus, required Henri/ Clifford Earl of Cumberland (heivg 

* Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury : " Life and Reign of Henry VIII." (1C49). 


then in his Castle of Shipton), to joyn with them. But he by Letters 
assures the King that though 500 Gentlemen (retain'd at his cost) had 
forsaken him, he would yet continue the King's true Subject, and defend 
his Castle (in which he had great Ordnance) against them all. Sir 
Ralf Evers also kept Scarborough Castle with no lesse courage against 
the Rebels ; he and his company having no sustenance but bread and 
water for the space of twenty dayes that they besieged him." 

A very romantic incident occurred in connection with the defence of 
Skipton Castle, and one well worthy of record. Robert Aske, the leader 
of the rebellion, had two brothers, Christopher and John. Froude 
says : — " In the hot struggle ties of blood were of little moment, and 
when the West Riding rose, and they had to choose the part which they 
would take, ' they determined rather to be hewn in gobbets than stain 
their allegiance.' Being gallant gentlemen, instead of flying the country, 
they made their way, with forty of their retainers, to their cousin, the 
Earl of Cumberland, and with him threw themselves into Skipton, 
The aid came in good time, for the day after their arrival the Earl's 
whole retinue rode off in a body to the rebels, leaving him but a mixed 
household of some eighty people to garrison the castle. They were soon 
surrounded ; but being well provisioned and behind strong stone walls, 
they held the rebels at bay, and but for an unfortunate accident they 
could have faced the danger with cheerfulness. But vmhappily the 
Earl's family were in the heart of the danger. Lady Eleanor Clifford, 
Lord Clifford's young wife, with three little children, and several other 
ladies, were staying, when the insurrection broke out, at Bolton Abbey. 
Perhaps they had taken sanctuary there, or possibly they were on a 
visit, and were cut off by the suddenness of the rising. There, however, 
ten miles off, among the glens and hills, the ladies were ; and on the 
third day of the siege notice was sent to the Earl that they should be 
held as hostages for his submission. The insurgents threatened that the 
day following Lady Eleanor and her infant son and daughters should be 
brought up in front of a storming party, and if the attack again failed, 
they would ' violate all the ladies and enforce them with knaves ' under 
the walls. After the ferocious murder of the Bishop of Lincqln's 
chancellor no villany was impossible, and it is likely that the Catholic 
rebellion would have been soiled by as deep an infamy as can be found 
in the English annals, but for the adventurous courage of Christopher 
Aske. In the dead of the night, with the Vicar of Skipton, a groom and 
a boy, he stole through the camp of the besiegers. He crossed the 
moors with led horses, by unfrequented paths, and he 'drew such a 


draught/ he says, that he conveyed all the said ladies through the 
commons in safety 'so close and clean that the same was never mis- 
trusted nor perceived till they were within the castle ' — a noble exploit, 
shining on the bypaths of history like a rich, rare flower. Proudly the 
little garrison looked down, when the day dawned, from the battlements 
upon the fierce multitude who were howling below in baffled rage. A 
few days later, as if in scorn of their impotence, the same gallant gentle- 
man flung open the gates, dropped the draw-bridge, and rode down in 
full armour, with his train, to the market-cross at Skipton, and there, 
after three long ' Oyez's,' he read aloud the King's proclamation in the 
midst of the crowd . . . 'with leisure enough,' he adds, in his 
disdainful way . . . 'and that done, he returned to the castle.'"* 

In regard to this romantic story, it will be well for us to remember 
that the ' Lady Eleanor Clifford, Lord Clifford's young wife,' to whom 
reference is made, was only married in 1537, which is the year following 
that of the rebellion. This fact throws doubt upon what one would for 
romance' sake wish to be unquestionable. The author of Chronicles and 
Stories of the Craven Dales, the late Dr. Dixon, without allusion to the 
foregoing incident, makes the following reference to the Pilgrimage of 
Grace : — " Historians who have written on that remarkable and fanatical 
movement mention an incident that seems to have escap)ed the 
scrutinising glance of Whitaker. When a band of pilgrims passed 
through Bolton Abbey village, they seized some young women, and 
carried them off". Happily, the parish priest of Skipton (who is 
designated Vicar) was at hand, and he, with the aid of a strong, 
lusty peasant, so belaboured the vagabonds, that the young 
women were released and restored to their families." Hitherto 
I have not been able to discover who are the 'historians' 
of whom Dr. Dixon speaks. The reader will, howevei', have 
noticed in how many particulars this narration agrees with that 
given by Fronde. In the one case it is Lady Clifford and several other 
ladies who are 'threatened by the pilgrims, and in the other 'some 
young women,' but Bolton Abbey is mentioned in both accounts. 
Christopher Aske and the vicar of Skipton, with a groom and a 
boy, are the rescuers in the one instance, and in the other the vicar 
of Skipton and a countryman. I am inclined to believe the feat 
of Aske imaginary, and to conclude that the second stoiy is the 
correct one. 

* Examination of Christopher Aske : Rolls House MS. (see Froude, vol. ii., pp. 552-4). 


To resume, however. At the end of October the siege of Skipton 
Castle was still proceeding, while elsewhere the feeling in favour of the 
rebels was increasing. The King, however, held back, so the movement 
was all aggressive : there had, as yet, been no serious collision. Another 
month passed away and Skipton Castle yet held out, though Lord 
CliflFord and Sir William Musgrave were then raising forces about 
Carlisle. Ere this, however, Aske, with the assistance of his co-leaders, 
had drawn up a petition, in which their demands were set forth. These 
demands the King would not concede ; but especially firm was he in his 
refusal to undo the work of the Reformation. A free pardon, however, 
he did offer, and a promise to hold a Parliament at York he also made. 
An agreement to this effect was signed, and Aske at once resigned his 
position as leader of the insurrection. But the lull thus brought about 
was of short duration, for, persuaded that the king .did not intend to 
carry out the agreement they at any rate understood to have been 
made, the rebels again took up arms. 

That Skipton Castle ultimately surrendered to the rebels is beyond 
question : for in a paper I have met with among the Evidences at 
Skipton it is stated that the Earl of Cumberland sent to the King a letter 
" signifieing to his Ma'tie that the Rebbells at that time had spoiled his 
house, taken away his treasure, w'th w'ch he should have done his 
Ma'tie service, and had torne his evidences in peeces." * The Earl, 
however, resisted in a successful cause, for before the end of the year 
the rebellion was suppressed, and the leaders were executed — Darcy, 
the traitor, on Tower Hill ; Aske at York ; and at Tyburn, the abbots 
of Whalley, Sawley, f Jervaulx, and Fountains, and among others Sir 
Nicholas Tempest, the ancestor of a Craven family. Several years 
after this insurrection the estates of the priory of Bolton came into 
the possession of the Earl of Cumberland, and considering the 
surprisingly low amount given for them (about £2,500) it is likely that 
by this favourable exchange the King sought in some measure to reward 
his subject's devotedness. 

The following extracts from an inventory showing the stock of 
artillery and armour in the castle in 1572, is of much interest. It 
was by the aid of this ordnance that the attack of the rebels during 
the Pilgrimage of Grace was for a long time repulsed : — 

* Compare also Whitaker's Craven, 1st ed., p. 340. 
t Speed. 


" Ord'nance and Muny'cons at Skipton, with other Fiirniture for the warrs. 
In the Pori'ward. 

Imp. I Iron peice cassen, called a diculveron, with a stocke. 

Item, a great chambre for the yron slyngge. 

Item, II great yron peice with chambres lying betwixt the gatts. 

At Seller Door. 

One facon of brass with a stock. 
Item, I brasse peice with a chambre. 

In Mrs. Gonyeri and Mr. Eltoffs Chambres. 

Ill lytel brasses with iii chambres. 

In the Nurs^ye. 

I yron peice w'th ll chambres, and il mo' other chambres, and i brasse peice w'th 
a chambre. 

In the Seller. 

I yron peice w'th a chambre. 
In the Ewrie, 

I yron peice casson, called a diculveron. 
On the Leads. 

Item, I facon of brass. 
Item, I slynge of yron, with a chambre. 
Item, I yron peice casson, called a facon. 
Item, II harquebusses of crocke.* 

In the Larder. 

I harquebuss of crocke. 
In the Port Lodge. 

I harquebuss of crocke and i oth' lytel harquebuss. 
In the Midle Chambre in the Galarye. 

Item, XXVI corsletts furnyshed, havyng but Lii capps and XLV gorghetts, xxvi?. 
Item, XII di launces, whyt, havyng but x pare off graves and xi p'r of gantletts, 


Item, V di launces, black, lacking v graves, cs. 

Item, XII black corsletts, furnished, xii?. 

Item, LX almon revetts, furnished, LX?. 

Item, II brygantynes covered with black vellvett, and one capp covered, the one 

whyt nayles and a murrion, \vl. 
Item, xxvii harquebusses, longe and short, prized to vs. a peice, Vll. xv«. 
Item, VII daggs with caices, xxxvs. 
Item, I basse pece of yron, XLs. 
Item, XII paire of yron moulds. 
Item, harnesses for poudre, xirf. 

* " Crock " was a sort of cast-iron. Arquebuses were muskets with rests. 


Item, XLiiii lead mawles.* 

Item, XXXII battell axes made of yron. 

Inf,he Low Tower at Galaivj End. 

Item, LX almon revitts, furnished, lacking 26 capps. 

Item, XXX old backs, and xxx breasts, unsutable harnesse. 

Item, I great brandreth, w'th a bolte, and a lesse brandi-eth, and I yron pintle for 

a great gowne. 
Item, I yron cuvell. 
Item, a closs carte, and other hustlement of household. 

In the Newe Wark. 

Item, II brasse peices, i a diculveron, and thother a facon j they bothe havynge 

my lordes armes on them. 
Item, I longe slynge w'th a chambre. 
Item, III of the seven susters.f 

In the Gallarye. 

Item, XL Flanders corsletts compleat, lacking vi p'r of pulsons, and also lackyng 

VIII p'r of canons or vomebraces. 
Item, XLV speirs. 

In the Storehouse. 

Item, III tubbs with saltpeter and a pannj and a pann with saltpeter in the 
said tubbs. t 

Item in Cross Botves at Skipton. 

Sir W. Ingleby had li and il racks. 
Edm. Eltoftes, Esquyer, i, and i racke. 
William Farrande, I, and ii racks. 
Remaining in Skipton Castle, ii and . . . rack." 


Skipton is associated with the insurrection known as the Rising in the 
North (1569), since the Chiffbrd. of that day took the Queen's side, and 
among the rebels were the Nortons of Rilstone, near Skipton. The 
pretext for the rising, says Froude, was the liberation of Mary Stuart, 
the establishment of the succession in her favour, and the removal of 
evil counsellors from the Queen. The leaders of the rebellion were the 
Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland. In the old ballad, 
included in Percy's collection, entitled " The Rising in the North," 

* " Some made a mell of massy lead, 
Which iron all about did bind." 

—Old Ballad of Flodden Field. 
t See page 106. 

} These were evidently for the manufacture of gunpowder. 


Percy, Earl of Northumberland, is represented as sending a message to 
Richard, the head of the Norton family, asking his assistance : — 

" Come thou hither, my little foot-page, 
Come thou hither unto mee, 
To maister Norton thou must goe, 
In all the haste that ever may bee. 

Commend me to that gentleman, 

And beare this letter here fro mee ; 
And say that earnestly I praye 

He will ryde in my companie." 

Norton receives the letter, and having read it "affore the goodlye 
companye " with him at the time, he turns to one of his sons : — 

" Come hither, Christopher Norton, 
A gallant youth thou seemst to bee ; 
What doest thou counsell me, my sonne. 
Now that good erle's in jeopardy?" 

Christopher advises his father to stand by his word if he has already 
pledged himself to support Northumberland. 

" Gramercy, Christopher, my sonne. 
Thy counsell well it liketh mee, 
And if we speed and scape with life 
Well advanced shalt thou bee. 

Come you hither, mine nine good sonnes. 

Gallant men I trowe yoii bee ; 
How many of you, my children deare, 
■ Will stand by that good erle and me ?" 

Eight at once protest their readiness to support the Earl. 

" Gramercy now, my children deare, 

You showe yourselves light bold and brave ; 
And whethersoe'er I live or dye, 
A father's blessing you shal have." 

Only one son, Francis, the eldest, remains doubtful of the wisdom of 
taking up arms against the Queen. 

" Father, you are an aged man, 

Your head is white, your bearde is gray, 
It were a shame at these your yeares 
Per you to ryse in such a fray. 

Now, fye upon thee, coward Francis, 

Thou never learnedst this of mee : 
When thou wert yong and tender of age, 

Why did I make soe much of thee ? 


But, father, I will wend with you, 

Unarm'd and naked will I bee, 
And he that strilies against the crowne, 

Ever an ill death may he dee." 

Froude, the historian, speaks thus of the Nortons : — " The father, 
Richard Norton, was past middle life at the time of the Pilgrimage 
of Grace. It may be assumed with confidence that he was one of the 
thirty thousand enthusiasts who followed Robert Aske from Pomfret to 
Doncaster behind the banner of the Five Wounds of Christ. Now, in 
his old age, he was still true to the cause. He had been left like a great 
many others unmolested in the profession and practice of his faith ; and 
he had bred up eleven stout sons and eight daughters, all like himself 
devoted children of Holy Church. One of these, Christopher, had been 
among the first to enrol himself a knight of Mary Stuart. His religion 
had taught him to combine subtlety with courage : and through 
carelessness, or treachery, or his own address, he had been admitted 
into Lord Scrope's guard at Bolton Castle. There he was at hand to 
assist his lady's escape, should escape prove possible ; there he was able 
to receive messages or carry them ; there, to throw the castellan off his 
guard, he pretended to flirt with her attendants, and twice at least, by 
his own confession, closely as the prisoner was watched, he contrived to 
hold private communications with her." 

Wordsworth has founded one of his most beautiful poems upon 
the fate of the Nortons and the legend of the White Doe of Rilstone. 
The old ballad already quoted from furnished much of the groundwork. 
The poet seizes upon the eldest Norton's attempt to persuade the 
father not to join himself with the insurgents : — 

" O father ! rise not in this fray — 
The hairs are white upon your head ; 
Dear father, hear me when I say 
It is for you too late a day ! 
Bethinlv you of your own good name ; 
A just and gracious queen have we, 
A pure religion and the claim 
Of peace on our humanity. 
'Tis meet that I endure your scorn — 
I am your son, your eldest born ; 
But not for lordship or for land, 
My father, do I clasp your knees ; — 
The banner touch not, stay your hand, — 
This multitude of men disband, 
And live at home in blameless ease." 


The father was resolute, and — 

" Forth when sire and sons appeared 
A gratulating shout was reared, 
With din of arms and minstrelsy, 
From all his warlike tenantry, 
All horsed and harnessed with him to ride : 
A shout to which the hills replied !" 

It was a luckless adventure. Like its predecessor of 1536-7, it achieved 
no good result, but ended only in wholesale execution of the enthusiasts. 
The old ballad named above says : — 

" Thee, Norton, wi' thine eight good sonnes, 
They doom'd to dye, alas ! for ruth ; 
Thy reverend lockes thee could not save, 
Nor them then: faure and blooming youths." 

It is, however, uncertain both how many of the Nortons joined in 
the rebellion and how many perished. Christopher and another, says 
Froude, were " put to death at Tyburn, with the usual cruelties," while 
two others were spai-ed. Camden, in his Annals, mentions three 
Nortons— Christopher, Marmaduke, and Thomas — as having suffered 
death; but it seems probable that two only — Thomas, brother, and 
Christopher, son of Richard Norton — paid for their rebellion with their 
lives. In the list of rebels attainted given in "Memorials of the 
the Rebellion of 1569," occur the names of " Richard Norton, of Norton 
Coniers, esquire ; Frauncis Norton, late of Baldersbie, county of York, 
esquire; George Norton, gentleman; Sampson Norton, gentleman; 
William Norton, gentleman; Christopher Norton, gentleman; Marma- 
duke Norton, gentleman; and Thomas Norton, gentleman." From 
that work it appears that while the two Nortons Thomas and Christo- 
pher were put to death, the sons Francis, John, William, George, 
Marmaduke, and Sampson escaped, and Thomas, Richard, Edmund, 
and Henry did not take part in the insurrection. 

The Letters of Sir Ealph Sadler throw a good deal of light upon 
the part taken by the Nortons. After the rebellion had been crushed, 
old Richard Norton fled into Scotland, and we find Sir William Cecil 
writing, December 28th, 1569, from Windsor, to Sir Ralph:— "We are 
never satisfycd with generall advertisements. You must lett us know 
what is become of Norton, Marcanfcld, Tempest, sir John Novell and 
such lyke." That Christopher Norton was executed is admitted univer- 
sally. Respecting him Sir Ralph Sadler writes, January 1st, 1570, 
to Cecil : — " The same Cristophcr Norton is taken amongst the rest 


of the rebells, whom I will move my lord lieutenant to have examined 
before his lordship and me, and if we can pike any matier out of him 
touching Rede or any other you shall be advertised of the same." 
Sadler writes, January 9th : — " You see that the heads of this late 
rebellion are in Scotlande, where they be receyved and moche made of, 
saving therle of Northumberlande, who is in the regents custodie ; 
the rest, as therle of Westmorlande, sir Jo. Nevile, Edwarde Dacres, 
Norton, Markenfelde, Egremont Ratclif, Swyuborn, and Tempest, ar 
secretly kept and maintained by the lord Hume, . . . and other 
borderers along the est and west marches of Scotlande." 

Richard Norton saved his life by fleeing the country. An old 
pedigree describes him as follows : — " Richard Norton, of Norton 
Conyers, Ar., attainted temp. Eliz. and ob. ultra maria." This, says 
the editor of Sadler's Correspondence, "agrees with the 'State of 
English fugitives,' which mentions old Norton as being in the service 
of Spain, and one of those who were consumed by 'pure poverty.' 
But, above all, the traditional account is disproved by the 
indictment of the famous Dr. John Story in 1571, which bears that 
he conversed in Flanders with Richard Norton, Francis Norton, and 
other traitors, who had fled beyond seas for treason committed in the 
12th year of the Queen's reign." 

Another Craven name, 'William Malham, of Elslack, Gentleman,' 
appears in the roll of attainders, and there is also mention of the 
Tempests, relations of the Tempests of Craven. The editor of Sadler's 
Correspondence says : — " More than one Tempest was attainted for this 
rebellion. Michael and Robert Tempest forfeited large property in the 
county of Durham, consisting of the estate of Holmeside, &c. Michael 
Tempest, of Broughton, was also attainted." In a "Roll of Attainders" 
contained in Letters of Sir Ralph Sadler, occur the following 
forfeitures : — 

" Tetrae Nicholai Norton attinct. 

Maner de Norton Conyers et Maner de Norton Sally, in Co. Ebor., val. ix?. iiis. 

viii ob. 
Maner de Cr. . . ston redd. xii/. vs. vnid. concess. Thome et Willielmo 

Norton pro vitis (idem Thomas attinct. pro alta prodicione) ut patet carta 20 

Octi 36 H. 8. 

" Terrae Ricardi Norton, Ar., attincti. 

Maner de RUston, val. Ixxiiii?. xvs. vii ob. in dominio et reddit. 

Maner de Hitton (vel Hiltone) iiii?. iiiis. 

Maner de Threshfield xxxiiii?. xixs. v ob. 

Maner de Lynton xxiii?. viis. ob. et reddit ihm xliiis. iiii ob., &c.j &c. 


" Terr. Michaelis Tempest, attinct. 

Redd, in Broughton, viiiZ. iiiis. 

Tuma cap. ma. de Broughton, q. Wills Dns. Eure ten. vo. Great Broughton et 

Grenehow, in Cleveland, reddend, xx^. 
Redd, in Kirkby, xls. Dorothea ux. dei Michaelis 7 Eliz. ita. 
Redd, in Carleton, xls." 

More than one Craven man forfeited his life for complicity in this 
rebellion. Sir George Bowes was one of the leaders of the royal forces, 
and he punished the participators unmercifully. He traversed a 
considerable part of Yorkshire and Durham, and " finding many to be 
fautors in the said rebellion, he did see them executed in every market 
town and in every village." The following is his warrant for the 
execution of several Craven rebels : — 

" xxij die Jan., 1569 [N.S. 1570]. 

"Men of Craven to be executed nyhe the townes where they dwelled: — Threffeld, 
Robert Arraye. EijUeston, Richard Kaley. Hanlyth, Wm. Scranston. 

" I will that you, Henry Gyrlington, Thomas Rolandson, George lines, and 
Richard Garthe, do see the execution of these above najoned in some place nyghe the 
townes where they dwelled, 

" Hanlyth — Wm. Lawson to be hangman, and so discharged. 

(Signed) " George BowES. 

Then follows an order as to the disposal of the property of the 
doomed men : — 

" I will that you, George Unes, do inventorye the goods of these men, within 
named to be executed : promysing the wyffes and children that I will be good with 
theyme. Inquer for leasses. 

(Signed) ' ' George Bowes. " * 

As in the rebellion thirty years before, the influence of the Chffords 
was again thrown in the King's favour. It is true that the Earl of 
Cumberland (Hemy, the second Earl) was not as active as some of the 
loyalists, but this was because ot' his failing health. Indeed, he did not 
survive the rebellion many weeks. Queen Elizabeth wrote him several 
pressing letters, askiug him " to use his best exertions to raise men," and 
in her last letter of the 7th December she says she fears his infirmity 
may not permit him to take any "vehement travaile abrode." On the 
20th November, when the Earl was, along with Lord Scrope, fortifying 
Carlisle against the rebels, Sir George Bowes wrote to him for a hundred 
horsemen. On the 27th November, when the danger to Barnard Castle 
became more imminent, Sir George writes : — " My humble dewtye 

* Bowes MS., Vol, xiv., pp. 40, 41 (given in "Memorials of the Rebellion of 1569.") 


premysed ; pleaseth your good L. to be advertysed, that I have 
receyved your Lo. letters, which ye desyre to be conveyed to the Lo. 
Leveteuante, which shal be soo done, by God's grace, in savetye ; or 
spoyled yf there be lykelehead of there takynge, which I truste in God 
shall not be ; for I have everye twoo dayes sent letters, and as yet none 
myscarryed, I thauke God. I wyshe your L. horsemen were here, for I 
feare very greatlye that yf they come not thys nyght, they shal be cutt 
from me, wherefore I humbly e desyre your L. to hasten them."* These 
horsemen came in due time, for on the 29th November Bowes writes 
from Barnard Castle to the Earl of Sussex : — " The Erie of Cumberland 
hath sent a good parte of the fyrste hundrethe horsemen, which came 
yeasterdaye ; but theye be all archers of horsebacke, and but meanelye 
horsed." Sir Ralph Sadler writes to Lord Cecil on December 2nd : — 
" The rebells are now afore Barnay Castle, and in dede be doing with 
Sir George Bowes, who I truste shal be able to defend himself; but I 
do marvel much that my Lo. of Cumberland, my Lo. Scroop, and my 
Lo. Wharton do lye still and do nothing, as far as I can here. My L. 
Lieutenant hath wrytten sondry tymes unto them, to prepare and levie 
ther forces, and to repair with the same to Bai-nay Castle, but hitherto 
we here nothing from them." 

It must not be supposed from the foregoing despatch that the Earl of 
Cumberland's loyalty was at fault. He was at the time in the north, 
and knew far better than Sadler to what extent it would be safe to 
withdraw his troops from the borders. We have already seen that he 
despatched a hundred men a day or two before the date of Sadler's 
letter. The Queen even seems to have been displeased with Cumber- 
land. On the 7th of December she writes to him that seeing the rebels 
were still strong in numbers and had not yet been attacked, " much to 
the discredit of our good subjects ther," he must levy forces to the best 
of his ability. Lord Scrope she orders to help him. The Queen adds 
that it is strange that the Earl of Cumberland, Lord Wharton, and 
Scrope can only send out of Westmorland and Cumberland two 
hundred horsemen, and that not "without money to be first sent to 

A later despatch speaks very favourably of Cumberland's conduct. 
On the 24th December Sadler writes that " My Lord of Cumberland, 
Lord Scrope, and Leonard Dacret have shown themselves honorable and 

* Bowes MS., Vol. ii., p. 51. 

t This Dacre took a very incongi-uous part in the insun'ection. At first he sided With the 


diligent in ther service against the rebells." The Cliffords were not 
immediate gainers by their fidelity, for it was a long time before the 
lands of the Kilstone Nortons came to the family. 


By far the most important military event with which the Castle of 
Skipton is associated is the siege of the seventeenth century. During 
the disastrous Civil War a force of Parliamentarians was, almost uninter- 
mittently, engaged for a period of three years in besieging the castle. 
It is true that this foi'ce was not during a great portion of the time 
very large, and that the siege consequently was not then a close one : 
but from the accounts of the Parliamentarians themselves it is evident 
that when at last the stronghold surrendered they deemed that sur- 
render one of vast importance. It is impossible to dwell upon the 
events which led to the Great Rebellion. It will be sufficient to say 
that hostilities broke out in the year 1642. In the early spring, when 
signs only too certain were already seen that a collision between Crown 
and Parliament was hastening. King Charles I. attempted to get 
possession of Hull ; but he was resisted by the garrison and failed. 
After a parade of his northern forces at York in June, the King raised 
his standard at Nottingham. War was now actually begun. The 
majority of the nobility and gentry of Yorkshire sided with the King, 
and brought with them their retainers, as well as a great portion of 
their tenantry, and thus swelled the royal army very greatly. Lord 
Fairfax, of Denton in Wharfedale, and his son Sir Thomas enlisted 
themselves on the side of the Pai'liament, and amongst persons of 
distinction stood almost alone in their choice. Lord Fairfax was 
speedily appointed to the command of the northern army.* His son 
was made a captain, but afterwards, on the resignation of the Earl of 
Essex, he became Lord-General of the Parliamentary forces throughout 

* " About the 20 of September, 1C42, there came credible information to tho Parliament 
that tho honest and well-affected partio of the Gentrie and Comnionaltie in York-shire resolved 
(as hath been formerly touched) to pluck up thoir Spirits, to quit themselves like men, and to 
make head against the Parliaments and kingdomes foes, and had therefore received many Men 
and Armes from Sir lohn Hotham, whose Son, Captaine Hotham, was to command them ; and 
that the Countrey with an unanimous and joint consent had chosen the noble and Religious 
Lord Fairfax to )io thou- Commander in chief, and that their Army did daily increase, they 
also having already taken some strong houlils for the service of the King and Parliament ; and 
had now resolved by God's blessing to use their utmost endeavour to seize on all the ParUa- 
ments enemies over their whole Country."— Ficars. 


England. In the autumn of that year the King issued his famous 
Commission of Array. This was a commission to his officers in all the 
counties ordering them to s'ee to the mustering and arraying of the 
inhabitants — that is, to their arming. At this time Henry Clifford, 
Earl of Cumberland, lord of the castle and honour of Skipton, was 
Lord-Lieutenant of the county of York. It was his duty, therefore, 
to execute the King's Commission, and very vigorously did he act. 

In the MS. Collection at Eshton Hall is " An Abstract of the Gentry 
of Yorkshire who attended King Charles the First att Yorke, 1642, 
with the sumes of moneys they Subscribed for his service," and the 
first name in the list is that of Henry Earl of Cumberland, who gave 
£500. The record concludes with this remark : — " When that the 
King came to Leedes, John Harrison, Esq., desired him to drink a 
Tankard of his Beer (to deceive his guards) which his Majesty accepted, 
it being a Tankard full of Gold, the most pleasant Draught that King 
had in all his Journey." 

Shortly afterwards tlie Earl was appointed to the command of the 
Yorkshire forces, and he thereupon issued a "Declaration," in which 
the King's case was set forth in very brilliant colours. Its full title 
is as follows : — " The Declaration of the Right Honourable Henry 
Earle of Cumberland, Lord-Lievtenant-Generall of His Majesties Fores 
in York-shire : And of the Nobility, Gentry, and others His Majesties 
Subjects now assembled at Yorke for His Majesties Service and .the 
Defence of This City and County." The declaration runs : — 

"From the deep sence of the growing miseries which have formerly afflicted this 
distressed Country, and out of the greivous apprehension of those inevitable ruines 
and desolations, writh a reall Warre fomented, hatched, and brought forth by our 
continuall distractions, must infallibly bring upon us ; We thought it the least of our 
duty to our God, our King, and our Countrey, to endeavour all means possible to 
discharge ourselves before God and Man, and to leave nothing unattempted which 
might avert and prevent those fearfull calamities which, as it must be consequently 
the most bloudy and ruinous Warre of all others ; and therefore in pursuance of that 
due affection to our Native Countrey : We first prevailed with our most gracious 
Soveraigne, whose Royall Inclination met our humble desires, in the most ready 
wayes, and apparent meanes, which we could devise and finde out the place and safety 
thereof, and set aside all other respects, though never so much conducing to the main 
of His owns affaires, for our security ; and therefore carried away the fatall Cloud of 
Warre, which in a hideous form hung over our heads, to disburden itselfe in another 
Climate, so as wee conceived, wee had no further worke of labour, but to pay the 
duties of praise and thankfulnesse to our God and King, whose grace and goodnesse 
had freed us from the visible consequences of a gi-eat and terrible tempest ; but since 
it hath pleased the unsearchable wisedome of Almighty God so to order it, That 
another storme hath broken and powred a great part of it upon this Countrey (when 
we least feared, and by those means which we least suspected) and that contrary to all 


Expectation work our misery) there appeared those out of our owne Bowels which 
have begun a War and kindled a flame, which does hazard the ruine and destruction 
of their Native Country ; which we take as a Punishment due to our manifold sins 
and offences, and leave the particuler executioners thereof to His owne Wisedome and 
Justice hereafter ; yet we have not been a wanting to the safety and protection of this 
People (so long and in so many wayes afflicted) but have apployed our selves to all 
such wayes and meanes which in Humane reason we could hope might procure a 
timely remedy to those bleeding wounds." 

The rebellious spirit apparent throughout the country is then alluded 
to, after which the Earl questions the power of Parliament to take 
courses they have taken, and to adopt measures which he considers 
subversive of the rights of kingship and of the liberties of subjects ; 
all which procedure is, he saySj to the " unspeakable detriment and 
dammage of this our flourishing, now miserable Countrey." Finally, 
he declares that he and the nobility and gentry of Yorkshire are ready, 
" out of desire for peace, to suffer still " in their own " particulars, and 
to set apart all interests " of their own, and to expose themselves " to 
the height of violence and rigour, though undeserved (unlesse to obey 
the King according to His Law be an ofl^ence) ;" notwithstanding that 
already they have ''endured beyond mortall sufferance." He con- 
tinues : — 

"We doe protest before God and man, That wee will yet apply our selves to all 
meanes which may conduce to quiet and settlement ; but in the meanetime will 
really and effectually labour for the safety of this Country, our selves, our wives, 
and children ; and if for the preservation of all that ought to be defended and main- 
tained by ISIortall man we are necessitated and compelled by their example to call in 
Porces, and desire the Assistance of the Earle of Newcastle, and of our friends and 
Neighbours in the adjacent Counties (being of our owne nation, and whose turne is 
next, and cause the same with ours), and that thereby some unforeseen or unwished 
accident arise, not then to be remedied, and that Yorkshire became an Akeldama and 
field of blood, we lay the consequences and effects thereof at the dores and upon the 
heads of those men who first began and kindled the flame in this Country, and have 
hitherto refused our most brotherly and peaceable offers, and endeavouring for Unity 
& tranquility, which on our parts hath bin so earnestly sought after, and attempted ; 
that wee can justly now say we have freed our own soules, discharged the duty of 
Christians, Englishmen, Patriates, and have bin refused in all : so as there remainea 
no more but to defend our Country from Strangers, our Lives from violence, our 
Wives and children from extremity of injury, our Houses from Rapine, our goods 
from spoyle, our Laws, liberties, property, and whatsoever is or can be neer or deare 
unto us, from utmost hazard and destruction." 

Cumberland's undoubted zeal in the royal cause will be best shown 
by the concluding lines of his Declaration : — " Though we jjerish in this 
worke," he says, " we shall rest satisfied that we have preserved our 
Faith and Honour untainted ; and if all others desert us in this resolu- 
tion we will not faile ourselves nor our duty to our King and Countr}', 
wherein appeares so much Justice and Piety ; but are most confident, 


by God's blessing upon the performance of our just endeavours, to 
represse the enemies of his Majesties peace, and to conserve ourselves 
and this Country to the glory of God, the service of our King, and 
mutuall comfort of one another." 

This Declaration served a good purpose. It brought to the King's 
cause earnest and extensive support. Though elected to the position of 
commander of the royal forces in Yorkshire, the Earl of Cumberland 
through physical disability did not retain that position long. The Earl 
of Clarendon in his " History of the Civil Wars " writes :— " The Earl of 
Cumberland .... though of entire affection to the King [was] 
much decayed in the vigour of his body and his mind, and unfit for the 
activity which the season required." Elsewhere the same writer says : 
— "The Earl of Cumberland, in whom the chief power of command was 
to raise men and money in a case of necessity, though he was a person 
of entire devotion to the king, was in his nature uuactive, and utterly 
inexperienced in affairs and exigents of that nature." It was from this 
cause that the King's partisans in Yorkshire, with Cumberland's full 
approval, sent to the Earl of Newcastle for assistance, offering that " if 
he would march into Yorkshire they would join with him, and be 
entirely commanded by him." The Earl of Cumberland readily waived 
any claim to command, and the incorporation was effected in December, 
in which mouth in all likelihood Skipton Castle was first garrisoned for 

The first thing the coalition force of Royalists did was to fall on Tad- 
caster, where they joined Fairfax in a memorable engagement. It was 
in a sharp conflict between Newcastle's horse and a party of the Parlia- 
mentary troops, which occurred as the battle-day was fast dechning, 
that gallant Captain William Lister, of Thornton-in-Craven, in the 
impetuosity of youth — 

. . . " Rushed into the fray, 
And foremost fighting fell." 

He was an amiable man, and an ardent and withal a pious soldier of the 
Parliament. Communicating the intelligence of his victory at Tadcaster 
to the Parliament, Fairfax makes special mention of young Lister. 

• ''- In the Memorials of Thomas Lord Fairfax occurs the following, which is to the same 
effect:— "Att this time ye Earle of Cumberland commanded the Forces in Yorkshire for ye 
Kinge ; but being of a peaceable Nature, and by his affable Disposition had but few Enimyes, 
or rather because he was an Enimy to few, he did not sute with their present condition and 
Apprehension of Fears, therefore sent to the Earle of Newcastle (who had an Army of six 
thousand Men) to desire his Assistance ; which hee answered by a speedy March to York." 


" We tooke 1 7 prisoners in the fight," he says, " and on our part we 
lost 6 men, and Captaine William Lyster, a valiant and gallant Gentle- 
man, who was shot with a Musquet bullet in the head." In another 
place Fairfax calls Lister's death a "great loss" to his forces. Con- 
nected with this sad circumstance a story is related by Thoresby. He 
says that Captain Lister's son, when passing through Tadcaster many 
years afterwards, enquired where his father was buried. Finding the 
sexton digging in the choir, he went up to him and was shown a skull, 
which had just been dug up. There was a bullet in the skull, which 
the sexton averred was that of Captain Lister. The son was so affected 
by the words of the sexton that he sickened at the sight before him, and 
died very soon afterwards. 

While the Royalists and the Parliamentary forces were struggling at 
Tadcaster, Skipton Castle had been garrisoned with a force of 300 men, 
and at the latter end of December, 1642, probably for the first time 
during this Civil War did the enemy come in sight of its towers. The 
precise day cannot be determined, nor, indeed, is it matter of great 
importance. The first conflict between the Royalists and the 
Parliamentarians in this neighbourhood may, however, with tolerable 
certainty be fixed as in the third or fourth week of December, 1642, 
for upon the 23rd of that month we find the first entry in the parish 
register of the burial of a " souldier slayne." It is true that in the 
February preceding there are three entries of the burial of soldiers, and 
in March three ; but it is not certain that these deaths were caused by 
violence. The castle was defended by Sir John JMallory ; and the chief 
commander of the Parliamentary force during the siege was General 
Lambert, though other Generals were at various times in command. 
The first entries in the parish register relating to the siege are as 
follows : — 

1642.— Dec. 23.— Edward Waddington, sonne of Rich. Waddington, of Horton, 

who was slayne in Setle. 
Dec. 28. — Thomas Boocock, sonne of Tho. Boocock, of Skiptonn, was lilcewise 

slaine by the rebels at Thornton. 
Dec. 30.— Tho. Todd, a souldier. 

Sir John Mallory, the Governor of the castle, was a most valiant 
soldier. He survived the siege about eleven years, and was buried in 
the collegiate chapel, Ripon. A monument erected by his wife there 
stands to his memory. The inscription upon it begins as follows : — 
" Here lyeth Sir John Malloric, of Great Studley, als Studlcy Royall, in 
y*^ County of Yorke, Kt., a Loyall Subject to his Prince, who marryed 


Mary, one of y^ daughters and Coheires of John Moseley, of y® Citty of 
Yorke, Esq., and upon y^ 23 of January, 1655, and in y^ 15th yeare of 
his age, departed this Hfe." A full-length portrait of Sir John, with his 
wife and child, is in the possession of the Marquis of Ripon. Mallory 
was at one time Member of Parliament for Ripon. The Lieutenant- 
Governor of the castle was Major Hughes. 

General John Lambert may be claimed as one of our most notable 
Craven men, and a few of the leading incidents of his chequered life 
may therefore be appropriately given. Lambert was born at Calton 
Hall, in the parish of Kirkby-Malhamdale, 7th September, 1619, and 
before he had attained the age of thirteen years was fatherless. At the 
age of 20 he married (10th September, 1639,) Frances, the daughter of 
Sir William Lister, of Thornton, — a lady who is described as "most 
elegant and accomplished." Lambert is said to have studied for the 
bar. But about this point there is considerable doubt. Clearly, 
however, law was not much to his mind, for at the very beginning of 
the Civil War he enrolled himself amongst the soldiers of the Parlia- 
ment. It may be noted that among those whose names are to be found 
in the " Ordinances of Parliament," for raising money and forces under 
Lord Fairfax and Sir Thomas Fairfax : who subscribed to the " Solemn 
League and Covenant," or otherwise exerted themselves in the Parlia- 
mentary cause, in addition to Lambert, were the following : — Henry 
Currer, of Kildwick ; Robert Dinely, of Halton ; William Drake, of 
Coates ; Anthony Foster, of Rathmell ; Thomas Heber, of Marton ; Sir 
William Lister, M.P., of Thornton; William Lister, of Thornton (killed 
at Tadcaster, 1642) ; Thomas Lister, of Westby ; and James Maleverer, 
of Arncliffe. When Lord Fairfax was appointed Commander-in- 
Chief of the Parliamentary forces in the northern counties, Lambert 
received under him the rank of Captain. He soon rose into distinction 
as a brave and judicious officer. During the early years of the war he 
took part in all the engagements of importance in this part of the 
country, and when alone with his own troop of dragoons he achieved 
marked successes. When, on the death of the Eaid of Essex, Sir Thomas 
Fairfax was appointed Commander-in-chief of the Parliamentary forces 
throughout England, Lambert was advanced to the Commissary- 
generalship of the northern army. In 1648 he was ordered into 
Yorkshire as Major-general of the five northern counties — a position, 
remarks one, which " on all authorities it is allowed he exercised with 
great wisdom, moderation, and justice." After having gone through the 
whole civil campaign, and earned high honour as a general, Lambert in 


1652 was appointed to, but did not accept, the office of Lord Deputy 
of Ireland. He sat in Parliament during the Proteutoiship of 
Cromwell, but upon the Restoration was exiled to Guernsey, where 
he died. 

It is pretty certain that at any rate for the first two years the 
siege was the reverse of a vigorous one, and that the object of the 
Parliamentary force was more to prevent depredation by the Royalists 
on the surrounding neighbourhood than to institute a regular siege. 
Nevertheless, sallies were frequently made from the castle, and in 
some of these there was considei'able loss of life on both sides. 

The cannon of the besiegers were placed, it is supposed, in two 
positions. That to which tradition has always pointed is the eminence 
known as Cock Hill — now partially covered with buildings — which 
commands a fine, uninterrupted view of the castle. In February, 1877, 
several very interesting relics were discovered here by a builder while 
he was excavating for the erection of new houses. At a depth of about 
three feet a rusty stirrup was displaced. It is of the old-fashioned 
swivel make, and bears traces of ornamentation. On the metal being- 
tested it was declared to be silver. This memento was found about 
thirty yards from a slight pit on the summit of the hill — the spot to 
which tradition points as having been the position of one of the 
batteries. From the formation of the excavated ground it is supposed 
that this formed the eai'thworks thrown up about the cannon. At the 
same time what appears to have been a coin or button was picked up 
from the same excavated earth, and in the next month, within a veiy 
short distance of the place, a small bar of silver, probably the " guide- 
rod " of a bridle. This position of attack was not, however, the 
principal one. Whi taker remarks that a battery was planted on the 
eminence dividing the old roads to Gargrave and Rilstone, and that the 
platform of this battery is still visible. From this battery the western 
portion of the castle was doubtless assailed. In this, the old portion of 
the castle, a great breach was made in the walls. It may here be 
observed that there is now preserved in the castle a leaden cannon ball, 
which tradition says was shot into the building during the siege. Mr. 
R. Bullock, of Skipton, also possesses an iron ball — about three or 
three-and-a-half inches in diameter — which Mr. John Hetherington, his 
grandfather, found behind the castle during excavation for the Springs 
Canal above a hundred years ago. 


The following entry occurs in the Skipton register of burials in the 
early part of 1643 ; — 

April 9. — Three souldiers belonging to one Captaine Prediux, beeing slaine at 
Carltonn, was buried at Skiptonn. 

While the siege was in progress, military operations were going on 
in the surrounding district. In July, 1643, Sir John Mallory, the 
governor, sent an assault party, under command of his lieutenant, 
Major Hughes, and Lord Darcy, to the Manor House at Thornton, which 
they wrested from the Parliamentarians. On this occasion young 
Captain Braddyl, the heir of the Braddyl family of Portfield, and a 
zealous Parliamentary officer, met his death. After the Eoyalists had 
obtained possession of the stronghold, and as the Roundheads were 
endeavouring to re-take it, he received a shot in the shoulder, which 
soon proved fatal. He was buried at Whalley on July 27th, 1643. 
The Manor House was not long held by the Ptoyalists : the following 
month they were driven out. A little later the building was burnt, and 
it is said by Whitaker that at the close of last century, while digging 
amongst the rubbish that still lay about, some men discovered an 
apartment on the ground floor, where the furniture remained 
undisturbed. The Skipton register contains this entry relating to the 
attack on Thornton : — 

1G43. — July 26. — William Gill, a souldier, slaine at Thornton. 

The parish register of Thornton contains the following entries of 
military burials during 1642 and 1643 : — 

Sepult. — Duo mil. occisi, Dec. 27, 1642. 

„ Hargreave de Stothill, occisus, Dec. 30. 

„ Miles, die ApriHs ]6, 1643. 

„ Tredecim milites, die Jul. 26, 1643. 

The last entry, " Thirteen soldiers buried July 26th," relates to the 
struggle for the Manor House. The village of Broughton, which was in 
the unfortunate position of having opposing forces within a very short 
distance on either side, seems to have fared very ill. There is a 
tradition that a son of the family resident at Broughton Hall was shot 
on the lawn, and that the village was so completely pillaged of domestic 
utensils at this time that an old helmet travelled from house to house, 
for the purpose of boiling broth and pottage ! I give this story for what 
it is worth. Nicholson, however, in his L^re of Ebor, has hit upon the 
circumstance : — 

" Helmets their kettles, and a spear their fork, 
To turn the chop, the steak, or roasting pork." 


Another poet says : — 

" In days of old our fathers went to war 
Expecting sturdy blows and hardy fare, 
Their beef they often in their murrions stewed, 
And in their basket-hilts their beverage brewed." 

During the later months of 1643, neither the besieged of Skipton 
Castle nor the besiegers appear to have been very active, if one may 
judge from the fact that from August to December but three deaths 
referable to the siege occur in the parish register : — 

Sept. 23. — Isabell, the wife of Fargus Boocock, beeing slaine wth a sworde. 

Dec. 7. — Anthony Rollisonne, a souldier. 

Dec. 15. — Francis Holme;?, of Skiptonn, a souldier. 

A sad event happened in this last month. The Earl of Cumberland — the 
last Eai-1 — died at York from an attack of fever. He was conveyed to 
Skipton, and was there entombed. Earl Henry only held his title three 
years. His death was soon followed by that of his lady. Several items 
of the expenses incurred at York preparatory to the Earl's funeral may 
be of interest : — 

" To the coachmaker for making the chariott for carrying the corps to Skipton, £4, 
For one of the vergers for ringing the Minster bell; being double fees for a 

nobleman, £1 8s. 
J. Plaxton, on account of wine to be bought at Skipton, £15. 
Mr. Deane, the surgeon, in part for embalming the bodye, £10. 
Disbursed in the journeye between York and Skipton, for all my lord's servants, 

horse meat and man's meat, and others, and poore of every parish, wth 

rewards to ye souldyers by ye way, of foot and horse, w'ch guarded the corpse, 

the sum of £28 2s. 
To my lo. Fairfax servants, for a safe conduct to London, 10s." 

In these restless times a protection of this kind was necessary. The 
"Fairfax Correspondence" shows that in 1645, nearly two years later, 
Lady Cork, of Skipton Castle, was provided with a safe conduct. 

" For 4 stone of tow, to putt into the coffin, and between the coffin and the charriot, 
to keep it from shaking, 10s. 
To the souldyers and gmmers of the garrison, at enterring my lord, £10. 
To the poor at my lord's gate, when the body went from the house, £3." 

The two following letters are interesting as showing the great peril 
private property was in at this time. They were written on behalf of 
Mr. Edward Parker, of Browsholme Hall : — 

" To all Oaptaines, Leiuetenants, and all other Officers and Souldiers wthin the 

liberties of Craven. 
" Thieso are to Charge and require you and everie of you, that you forbeare to 
enter the house of Edward Parker, of Brousholme, Esqr., by night, or to take anio 


horses or other goods from him, eyther wthin the house or wthout the house, Eyther 
by day or by night, wthout speciall Command from mee ; as you and everie of you will 
Answer the Contrarie at yor p'ills. 

"Giuen at Gigleswicke vnder my hand the Nyneteenth dale of December, 1643, 

" John Lambert." * 

"For the Cols and Lieu. Cols within Craven, these — 

"Noble Gentlemen,— I could desire to move you in the behalfe of Mr. Edward 
Parker, of Broosome, that you would be pleased to take notice of his house, and give 
order to the officers and souldiers of your regiments that they plunder not, nor 
violently take away, any his goods, without yoor privities ; for truly the proness of 
souldiers sometimes to com'it some insolencies wtout comand from their sup'iors is the 
cause of my writing at this time ; hoping hereby, through your care, to prevent a 
future evill, in all thankfullness I shall acknowledge (besides the great obligation 
you putt on Mr. Parker) myselfe to bee, 

" Gawthrop, 13 February, 1644. " Your much obliged, 

"Ric. Shuttleworth." t 

Towards the end of the first year's siege it appears that repairs were 
made to the cannon and the equipment of the garrison, lest there should 
be inefficiency in time of need : — 

" P'd George Dent, armour-dresser, in p't of his bill for dressing arms & guns at 
Skypton Castle, £15 Os. Od. 
To more work done at Skypton, £4 13s. 4c?." 

During the year 1644, the second of the siege, many events of great 
importance occurred : local as well as national. The entries in the 
register for the first six months follow : — 


Jan. 10. — Steuen Edmondsone, of Skipton, found slaine in the towne gate. 
Jan. 19. — A souldier that dyed at Francis Twisletonn's, in Skiptonn. 
Feb. 9. — John Hargraves, a souldier, slaine on the top of Rumley's more. 

Probably this Royalist belonged to a party from the castle garrison who 
had been making a sally ; or he may have been fleeing from some place 
beyond ; Keighley was then in the hands of the Roundheads. 

Feb. 12. — Tho. Hall, a trooper, unfortunately slayne by a pistole. 
AprU 3. — Will. Hedcliffe, a souldier. 
May 17.' — Henry Briggs, a souldier. 

„ 18. — Henry Ash worth, a rebell. 

„ 22. — Robert Austen, a rebell. 

,, 24. — Steuen Maudsley, a souldier, unfortunately slaine. 

,, 31. — Tho. Whittecar, a souldier. 
June 12. — Edward Walltonn, a soldier, barborusly slayn by the Rebells. 

* General Lambert. 

t "Desci-iption of Browsholme Hall" (1815). 


It was at this time, the summer of 1644, that the great battle of 
Marston Moor was fought. Lord Fairfax, with his son Sir Thomas, 
Colonel Cromwell, and Colonel Lambert, and a large force had begun 
the siege of York; into which fortress the Marquis of Newcastle had 
thrown his whole army of infantry and artillery. By the command 
of the King, Prince Kupert in June gathered together in Lancashire 
and Cheshire a relief force. In the course of the Prince's northward 
march, several skirmishes took place in the neighbourhood of Colne ; 
between Roundheads on the one side under Colonel Shuttleworth, and 
Royalists on the other under Sir Charles Lucas, who joined the Prince 
iu his expedition. 

From Lancashire the army of Prince Rupert proceeded through 
Craven, " laying waste the whole country," we are told. Tradition has 
it that Prince Rupert, passing through Skipton on his way to the relief 
of York, encamped in a field of ripe corn at Bolton Bridge. Indeed, 
in the beginning of the present century the elm-tree under which he 
is said to have dined was pointed out. We find from the accounts of 
the Cliflfbrd family that in 1644 an allowance of £20 was made to a 
tenant of Hambledon, a field in the neighbourhood of Bolton, which 
it was alleged had been ' foiled ' by Prince Rupert's horses : — 

" Bolton, 12 July, 1644. — Agreed w'th Rich. Barn vis, for all that piece of ground 
at Bolton called Hambilton, as it now putteth out to be eaten and foiled by 
the prince's horse as they passed thro' this county, &c., £20." 

On the near approach to York of the relief force, Fairfax raised the 
siege, and drew his troops away to Marston Moor, where on the 2nd 
of July was fought a famous battle, in which the combined Royalist 
armies were — partly by reason of tactical blunders — utterly defeated. 
Cromwell himself has described the struggle very vividly in a letter 
to Colonel Valentine Walton. He remarks in his own devout way, 
showing the magnitude of the Parliamentary victory : — " God made 
them as stubble to our swords. We charged their regiments of foot 
with our horse, and routed all we charged. ... I believe of 
twenty thousand the Prince had not four thousand left. Give glory, 
all the glory, to God." 

On the defeat of the Royalists the Duke of Newcastle withdrew 
to Scarborough, and left the country, together with nearly a 
liundred officers of distinction, his army dispersing in all 
directions. Impetuous Prince Rupert retraced his steps through 
Craven and Lancashire and on to Oxfordshire, taking with him the 
remnant of his fine army. In his southward march from York the 



Prince entered Preston (September 1st, 1644), and seized as prisoners- 
of-war the mayor, Master William Cottam, and two bailiffs, by name 
Patten and Benson, and he had them lodged in Skipton Castle, 
where they remained for twelve weeks.*' On their release and imme- 
diate return to Preston, as recompense for the loss they had sustained 
the Corporation presented the Mayor with £10, and each of the 
bailiffs with <£5. 

After the battle of Marston Moor, the Parliamentary Generals 
resumed the siege of York, and it soon surrendered, though on very 
favourable terms. One of the conditions was that the garrison should 
have a convoy, and that no injury should be done them in their march 
to Skipton. We are told that on the Royalists vacating York Castle, 
" the Parliamentary forces having been previously drawn up on each side 
of the road, and formed into a line of about a mile in length, the retiring 
forces, with arms in their hands, drums beating, colours flying, &c., 
marched through their ranks towai'ds Skipton." 

To continue the burial entries in the Skipton parish register : — 

July 5, 1644.— Nicholas Foiteskue, Knight of Malta. 

It is not improbable that this knight had received a mortal wound at 
the battle of Marston Moor, which took place a day or two before, and 
that in the flight of the Royalists — himself one — he reached Skipton, 
and died there. 

July 8. — A souldier that dyed at Stirtonn. 
,, 8. — A souldier that dyed at Stirtonn. 
„ 10. — James Smith, a souldier. 
„ 12. — Will. Shearley, a souldier about Leverpoole. 
„ 19. — Nicholas Tennand, a souldier. 

,, 21. — A souldier's wife called Issabell, which came from Nucastle. 
„ 21. — A souldier that dyed at Richerd Allcock, of Skiptonn. 
,, 24. — Elyas Grant, a darbishyre souldier. 
,, 27. — John . . . . , a souldier under Sr John Goodrick. 
,, 27. — John Morehouse, a souldier that came from Northumberland. 

Several of the foregoing entries evidently point to the death of 
wounded soldiers of the fugitive army. 

August 1. — Peeter Kendall, a souldier. 
,, 6. — Mr. John Butler, captaine. 
,, 9. — John, ill. Captaine Cutterall. 
,, 27. — John Warde, a souldier. 

* Assheton's Journal, Chatham Society's Piiblications. 


Sept. 5. — Ralph Oughtridge, a souldier. 

,, 24. — John, fil. Donkin Seedale, of Skipton, gunner. 

Oct. 15. — Robert Tayler, a souldier. 

Nov, 5. — Richard Baynbridge, a souldier. 

Yorkshire was at this time pretty well overrun with troops, 
Parliamentary and Royalist. In the Memoirs of Sir Henry Slingsby, 
an account of a march from the north to Skipton is given : — " On the 
10th of September, 1644, we set forwards on our march for Skipton, and, 
by marching in the night, passed through the enemy that lay on every 
side. We had but one stop, which was at a bridge near Ingleton, where 
the enemy had set a guard ; but wee soon made our passage, with the 
loss of one lieutenant of horse, who was shot in the body, and died on 
the way as he was carrying. Wee marched in the night from Skipton, 
and came suddenly upon a new raised troop near Bradford : we took 
some of them prisoners, and the captain out of his bed." 

General Lambert left the Parliamentary force before Skipton to 
engage in the battle of Marston, and he bore himself well. It may 
seem singular that after the battle Fairfax, as lord-general of the 
Parliamentary army, did not think fit to so efficiently reinforce his 
blockading troops at Skipton that a speedy termination might be put 
to the siege, which already had lasted more than a year-and-a-half. It 
may have been that he had not up to that time considered the 
possession of the castle to be a matter of great importance. Towards 
the end of this year, however, we read in the Chroniclers that the 
Royalists were continually despatching marauding parties from the 
castle ; indeed, that " scarcely a day passed but information was received 
of irreparable depredations and the most wanton barbarities committed 
by these parties," from Skipton on the one hand and Knaresborough on 
the other — the only garrisons in Yorkshire or the north as yet not 
closely blockaded. Early in November, for instance, a party of the 
King's horse from Skipton Castle, joining with another detachment from 
Knaresboro', marched to Helmsley Castle, near York, which was then 
besieged by the Parliamentary forces, and attacked the besiegers, but 
were defeated and put to flight. That castle surrendered on honourable 
conditions a few days latex*. 

Lambert, however, returned to the force before Skipton, and he was 
ever on the alert. Vicars relates that towards the end of September, 
" an account was received from the north that Colonel Lambert, that 
valiant and faithful officer, had taken a troop of horse in Craven, and 
had also been successful in a collision near Knaresbro'." He joined 


Lord Fairfax in the beginning of November in an attack on the last- 
named stronghold. Together they stormed the town on the 12th 
December, and on the 20th the castle, into which the Royalists had 
been driven, surrendered. It was after that event that Fairfax came 
to the conclusion that it was time an end was put to the Skipton 
business. The siege became closer and closer from the spring of 1645 

A very exciting exploit occurred about this time. On February 17th, 
a sally was made by a party of the besieged Royalists of Skipton. At 
that time the commander of the Parliamentary troops at Keighley — 
Colonel Brandling — was away from the neighbourhood, and aware of 
the fact, Sir John Mallory, the Governor of the castle, despatched a 
force of 150 men under command of Major Hughes, the lieutenant- 
governor, to the Keighley camp. Over the deep snow that still lay on 
the ground the surprise party rode, and reached Keighley early in the 
morning. They came like a thunderbolt upon the enemy's camp, for 
the attack was totally unexpected. The Royalists took a hundred 
prisoners and sixty horses, and triumphantly entered the town, which 
they plundered. After remaining in the place for some time, flushed 
with victory, they began their return journey. But it happened that 
Colonel Lambei't himself was not far away when the attack was made, 
and news of the misadventure was conveyed to him. He hastened in 
pursuit of the hostile Skiptoners with what force he had at the time, 
and sighted them before they had advanced far on their way back to 
the castle. The Royalists were now in their turn surprised, for Lam- 
bert's men dashed upon them from behind without any warning, and 
disordered them. In the confusion the Pai'liamentary prisoners re- 
gained freedom, and joined with Lambert against their victors. Closing 
together again, however, the Royalists fought gallantly, although the 
contest was so unequal. After a short but stubborn encounter, during 
which no fewer than twenty soldiers were slain on the Royalist side, and 
ten on that of Lambert, the Skiptoners, leaving twenty prisoners besides 
their dead, retreated precipitately from the bloody field, and were 
followed by a portion of the Parliamentary troops up to the very gates 
of the castle. Brave Major Hughes, the commander of the unfortunate 
expedition, received wounds from which he died almost immediately 
after reaching the castle. Hughes' lieutenant was also amongst the 
slain. Lambert's loss was numerically small, but it included one of his 
best officers — Captain Salmon. After the contest Lambert returned to 
Keighley, and restored the booty of which the Royalists had possessed 


themselves. The burial of Major Hughes: is thus referred to in the 
Skipton register : — 

Teb. 19. — Maior John Hughs, a most valiant souldier. 

On the following day a ' rebel ' was interred : — 

Feb. 20. — Robert Howarde, a rebell souldier. 

This entry is the last in the Skipton register referring directly to the 
siege, for a hiatus of three years occurs — 1645-1648. 

By the summer of 1645 the siege had become extremely close. At 
the latter part of May the castle was very hardly pressed. On the 23rd, 
I learn from the History of Pontefract (1807), the besieged of that town 
" received information from Skipton Castle and Lathom Hall, that these 
places, which had been reduced to the greatest distress through want of 
provisions, had been happily relieved, and had obtained a supply of sixty 
head of cattle and other necessaries."" On the 25th Julv Scarborough 
Castle surrendered to Colonel Boynton, and the garrison at Skipton 
feared an attack. They therefore "judged it prudent to despatch 
secretly their cavalry to Newark," and they left the garrison a day or 
two after receipt of the bad news from Scarborough. " A troop of the 
Parliamentary cavalry, however, under command of Colonel Bright, fell 
in with one of the parties, killed several dragoons, and took Sir Charles 
Howard and some other officers prisoners." On the 11th of August, 
General Poyntz, at the head of a large body of men, successfully 
attacked the Royalists within the town of Skipton, and drove them to 
their entrenchments. He took possession of the church, and the out- 
works of the castle, as well as of the conduit of water. The General 
also captured many men and horses. Poyntz was prevented pursuing 
further the successful course he had thus begun, for he immediately 
afterwards received orders to march with the greater part of his troops 
" to join the force intended to prevent the King's access again to the 
north of Eueland." 


At last Skipton Castle was the only stronghold in Yorkshire yet 
defended against the Parliament. In October of this year (1645) 
Sandal Castle surrendered to Colonel Overton ; and in the same month 
Sherborne Castle surrendered to Colonel Copley. The fight at Sher- 
borne took place October 15th, and on the defeat of the Royalists a 
portion of them took refuge in Skipton Castle. Sir Thomas Fairfax, in 
a memorandum containing a list of prisoners taken by the Parlia- 
mentary forces, says : — " We lost not ten men ; but many wounded. 


The enemy were about 1600 horse, and intended for Montrose, Ours 
were about the number of 1250. About 600 of the enemy are gotten 
towards Skipton." Clarendon also records that the Royalist troops 
remaining with their General after the fight at Sherborne " were com- 
pelled to make their retreat to Skipton, which they did with the loss of 
Sir Richard Hutton, a gallant and worthy gentleman [High-Sheriff of 
Yorkshire], and the son and heir of a very venerable judge, a man 
famous in his generation. ... At Skipton most of the scattered 
troops came together again, with which he [Lord Digby] marched 
without any other misadventure through Cumberland and Westmore- 

The surrender of the castles of Sandal and Sherborne was followed by 
the surrender of Bolton Castle, in Wensleydale. This fortress had been 
defended by a garrison of Richmondshire militia, under Colonel Scrope, 
until they had been reduced to feeding on horse flesh. No wonder, 
that hearing of these discouraging reverses, the Skipton Royalists — 
their stores fast becoming exhausted — all chance of receiving supplies 
now cut off — and the unwelcome prospect of another stern Craven 
winter before them — should begin seriously to think of surrender. At 
last, driven to extremities, and knowing too surely that further resist- 
ance, which meant further loss of life, could serve no useful end, the 
gallant Mallory signified to the Parliamentary General his wish to 
capitulate, and on the 21st of December, 1645, the heroic defence of three 
years was brought to a close. The terms of surrender were honour- 
able : — the besieged were allowed to retire in possession of their arms — 
a condition worthy of their valorous conduct, and one which every 
admirer of heroism must think was fully merited. The garrison had 
the option of retiring unmolested to one of three places — Newark, 
Hereford, or Oxford. On December 26th Parliament " officially received 
letters from the North bringing an account of the rendition of the strong 
GAERisoN of Skipton Castle in Craven, which had been long besieged by 
our forces." The House spoke of this surrender as "one of the greatest 
importance ; for," it was said, " by this means not only all Yorkshire is 
cleared and happily reduced to the obedience of Parliament, but also all 
Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire." This 
was true, for Newark, in Nottinghamshire, was the nearest garrison 
town yet in the hands of the Royalists. The officer who brought this 
good news to the Parliament received, according to custom, a consider- 
able present. 

There is in existence — though it is of extreme rarity — a tract, 


printed 1645, relating to the surrender of Skipton Castle. The title 
is as follows : — 

"Articles agreed upon between Richard Thorneton, Commander-in-chief of 
the Forces before Skipton Castle, of the one party, and Sir John Mallory, 
Knight, Col. & Governor of Skipton Castle, on the other party, about the 
surrender and delivery of the said Castle, with the cannon, ammunition, 
goods, & provisions belonging thereto, in manner after specified, to the said 
Coll. for the use of King and Parliament, the 21st day of December, 1645." 

A copy of this unique tract (which contains name of neither place 
nor printer), is in the possession of Mr. E. Hailstone, F.S.A., of Walton 
Hall, Wakefield, to whom I am indebted for the following details : — The 
articles are fifteen in number, and are favourable to the garrison, who 
■were allowed to march out with full honours of war, and especial care 
was taken of the property and evidences of the Countess of Pembroke. 
The instrument is subscribed : — 

"These articles are agreed of us who were appointed to treate for the rendition of 
Skipton Castle, in the behalf of Sir John Mallory, Governour of the place. 

"Ferdinando Leigh, Fkan. Cobb. 

"John Tempest, Micah Tompson." 

During the siege of the castle. Sir John Mallory, the Governor, 
received the King's warrant, empowering him to collect rents due upon 
the late Earl of Cumberland's lands at Bolton and upon the Norton 
Lands, and to dispose of them in maintaining the garrison. The warrant 
■was in these terms : — 

" Chakles R. 

" Our will and pleasure is that for us, and in our names, you demand and receive 
all such rents and arrears as are or shall be due to us before or upon the feast of St. 
Michael the Archangel next, from Henry late Earle of Cumberland and his heirs ; 
and that you dispose the same for the maintenance of our garrison at Skipton, as may 
most conduce to our service ; for which this shall be your warrant and their discharge, 
upon acknowledgment of the receipt thereof to our Receiver General. 

"Given under our signet, at our court at Oxford, the 30th day of March, in the 
21st yeare of our reigne. 

" To our trusty and well-beloved Sir John Mallory, knight, collonell and governor 
of our garrison at Skipton." 

The rents were paid during the years 1643-5 to Sir John Mallory, but 
on the surrender of the castle the Parliament's Commissioners demanded 
them. The following petition was then sent from Linton and 
Threshfield :— 

"To the Hon'blk Co'mittie fob the Publicke Revene. 

"The humble petition of us underwritten sheweth, — 

" That your petitioners, being awed by ye power of Skipton garrison, paid their 
rents due for ye yeares 1643, 4, and 5, unto such officers as that garrison sent to collect 
them, which they durst not refuse, for feare of greater mischiefe. 


"That y'r petic'ors suffered much by living under the power of that garrison, 
being plundered both by Scotch and Eng'ish of [on] all sides, and paide double 
sessments a great space during the warre and two several seeges of Skipton Castle ; 
notwithstanding all which your petic'ors are now threatened with a second leavy of 
those rents by order frona this co'mitte, bearing date Feb. 8, 1650, though they were 
paid, as aforesaid, by constraint, as will appear by an affidavit and acquittances 
hereunto annexed. 

"The pr'mises considered, y'r petic'ors humbly pray yt, in consideracon of their 
great impoverishm't by the late warre, as also that though your petic'ors lived under 
the power of yt garrison, yett they were alwaies well affected to the Parliam't, this 
hono'ble comittee will be pleased to grant us particular order that may exempt us 
from the prejudice of the above said order of the 8th Feby. for the leavying of those 
rents, and yr petit'ors shall ever pray." 

This petition was signed by Edward RadclifFe, Francis Hewett, George 
Hewett, Thomas Lupton, James Atkinson, John Slinger, Ralph Proctor, 
Ralph Hargreaves, Richard Lightfoot, Richard Cook, and Thomas 
Topham. The reference to the plundering of the Scotch will probably 
refer to Duke Hamilton's expedition of 1648, alluded to below. 

The following receipt of the rents referred to is contained among the 
Family Papers at Bolton : — 

"Skipton Castle, the 5th of November, 1645. 
"Received then by his Ma'tye's especiall command, under his signe manuall to 
me directed, ye sum of Eighty-three Pounds ten shillings five pence of Crowne Rents, 
payable out of the lands of ye late Priory of Bolton, ye manners of Linton, Thresh- 
field, Rilston, Flasbie, and Heatton, being due at St. Michael ye Archangell last past, 
for the use of the Garrison of Skipton, by me,- J. Maloey." 

Skipton Castle was for several years occupied by a Parliamentary 
garrison. I find that in 1647 there was a rising amongst the soldiers, 
who were unable to get their proper- pay. Writing to Lord Fairfax 
from York on April 16th in that year, one Thomas Widdrington says : 
— " I have little to trouble your lordship withal at this time. The 
soldiers in divers parts in this county begin to complain most of want of 
money. Those at Skipton Castle have been in a mutiny ; imprisoned 
two sequestrators, and threatened to seize upon the goods and furniture 
of the Castle ; but upon the payment of some money, and a letter to 
the governor there from the Committee of the West Riding, I hope that 
disorder is appeased." 

In 1648 the castle was temporarily re-occupied by the Royalists. It 
was probably in May that the Roundheads were turned out, for the 
parish register (which recommences in March of the same year) records 
that on the 16th of that month " many were slayne at this time." The 
occupation cannot have been of long duration. It was at the time the 
Duke of Hamilton was at work raising an army on behalf of the King in 


Scotland. On July lOtli he crossed the border at the head of 20,000 
men. . Sir Marmaduke Langdale, with other 3000 soldiers — all York- 
shiremen — was his guide. Cromwell had of late been engaged at the 
siege of Pembroke, but on the 11th July this fortress surrendered, and, 
knowing of the advance of the Scotch army, he hurried northward. In 
the beginning of August he joined Lambert, who was already in the 
north of Yorkshire, at which time the Duke of Hamilton's army was 
not at a great distance from him. '•' The Scots," as one of the Parlia- 
mentary officers* has recorded, "now marched towards Kendal, we 
towards Rippon, where Oliver met us with horse and foot. We were 
then betwixt eight and nine thousand ; a fine, smart army, and fit for 
action. We marched up to Skipton ; and the forlorn of the Enemy's 
horse was come to Gargrave, and took some men away, and made others 
pay what money they pleased ; having made havoc of the country, it 
seems, intending never to come there again. At this time Captain 
Currer, a dreaping commander we had in these days, should have 
delivered up the castle to Langdale, if he had come on, but stout Henry 
Cromwell [Oliver's son] commanded the forlorn to Gargrave, but the 
Langdales over-run him. The next day we marched to Clithero." 
The Royalist force made their way to Preston, where they were 
thoroughly routed. 

The following extract from a letter despatched by Cromwell after that 
decisive battle to Parliament (on receiving which the House ordered the 
observance of a day of thanksgiving) calls for place here. It shows that 
Cromwell himself passed through Skipton — the only visit of which I 
have met with any authentic record: — "After the conjunction of that 
party which I brought with me out of Wales with the northern forces, 
about Knaresborough and Wetherby, — hearing that the enemy was 
advanced with their army into Lancashire, we marched the next day, 
being the 13th of this instant August, to Otley (having cast-ofF our 
train, and sent it to Knaresborough, because of the difficulty of 
marching therewith through Craven, and to the end we might with more 
expedition attend the enemy's motion) ; and on the lith to Skipton ; the 
15th to Gisburn ; the IGth to Hodder Bridge, over Ribble; where we 
held a council of war." There is a family tradition that on this 
occasion Generals Cromwell and Lambert halted with Sir John Ashton' 
at Gisburn Park, then called Lower Hall, a jointure-house of the Listers. 
There are two fine portraits of these Generals in the dining-room at 

* Capt. John Hodgson. See Memoirs o/ Sir Henry SUng^by 0-806), 


Gisburn Park — that of Cromwell painted by Sir Peter Lely, and that 
of Lambert by Walker. , 

After the wreck of the Scottish army, the unfortunate Duke of 
Hamilton hastened to the north again with what force he could collect 
around him — Lambert close at his heels. Cromwell at this time wrote 
from Lancashire to the Committee at York, asking them to get what 
force they could to put a stop to any further designs the Royalist array 
might have, and " so be ready to join Major-General Lambert if there 
shall be need." Cromwell himself followed. The following entries of 
burials in the Skipton register relate doubtless to the flight of the 
Scottish army : — 

August 24, 1648. — Richerd Lawrence, a souldier, borne in London. 
Sept. 1. — Persivell Coppertwaite, a gentleman souldier. 

Cromwell in one of his letters remarks that " the greatest part by far of 
the nobility of Scotland were with Duke Hamilton." May this 
' gentleman souldier ' have been one of the nobility 1 Certainly he was 
a Royalist, for in the Skipton register the Parliamentarians are always 
called rebels. 

Sept. 2. — A souldier that dyed at Eastbie. 

„ 3. — Will. Bizet, a Scotchman. 

,, 6. — Other twoo Scotchmen buried. 
October 8. — A Scotchman, 

It was in this October, says Rushworth, that the ' Committee at York ' 
ordered Skipton Castle to be immediately ' slighted.' A year-and-a-half 
before, it had been decided to dismantle the castle, and render it 
untenable. In the Commons Journal, 26th February, 1646, are 
contained Parliamentary orders to disarm among other strongholds 
" Knaresbro,' Midlam, Bolton, Crake, Helmsley, Ski2)ion, and Clitheroe." 
This 'slighting' or dismantling was not done, I surmise, without 
resistance, for I find the following entries in the Skipton register at a 
time when the ' slighting ' must have been in progress : — 

1649. — Jan. 5. — Will. Jacksone slayne, of the Castle. 

„ 16. — Adam Williamsonne slayne, of the Castle. 

The order of the ' Committee at York ' was carried out very rigidly. 
It was not, however, until the seizure of the castle by the Royalists 
'during Duke Hamilton's expedition, and its subsequent re-occupation by 
the Roundheads, that the dismantling was ordered. In the inscription 
raised by Lady Anne Clifford over the entrance to the old castle after its 
restoration, the Lady says that the mai7i portion was "pulled downe 
and demolisht almost to the foundacon, by the command of the Parlia- 


ment." This assertion must, however, be received with reserve. The 
whole of the western portion of the castle was unroofed, and the walls, 
doubtless, were very considerably reduced in height ; but even if beyond 
this we take into account also the damage done during the siege, the 
work of destruction can scarcely have been so complete as Lady Anne 
describes. The new portions of the towers can easily be distinguished 
in many places. The jointure is in some instances twelve or fifteen 
feet below the battlements. Respecting the unroofing of the old castle, 
a letter to Thomas Earl of Thanet may be fitly introduced here : — 

"Skipton, 6 Ap. 1711. 
" May it please your Lordship, 

"I have made enquiry about William Watson's paying twenty pounds per annum 
to Mr. Sedgwick, and find several persons can remember it ; and they say that the 
reason of my Lady Pembroke's anger against his father was, that he had bought 
timber of one Curror, that had been governor of Skipton Castle, and carried it away 
from the Castle, after it had been demolished, to Silsden More." 

Lady Anne seems to have considered this transaction an unpardonable 
indignity. The fact may be noted that, as appears from an inventory 
taken May 7th, 1646, little of the furniture in the castle was injured 
during the siege. 

The efforts of the blockading force were directed more to the old than 
the new portion of the castle ; partly for the reason that the latter was 
not used for purposes of defence ; but probably also because General 
Lambert and the Fairfaxes were friends of the Clifford family, and they 
would prevent the commission of more damage than was absolutely 
necessary. The westernmost end was made an almost total ruin. This 
demolition was probably effected by the battery stationed near the old 
junction of the Gargrave and Rilstone roads, or upon a neighbouring 
eminence. The principal entrance to the castle-yai'd was also to a 
great extent destroyed. Whitaker thinks it must have been beaten at 
least half way to the foundation. 

The church of Skipton and the steeple suffered very greatly at the 
hands of the Roundheads ; but not they alone. Private houses 
appear to have been destroyed. I find that Lady Anne Clifford 
"Graunted the xxiiiith dale of March, 1652, to Christoffer Mitchell, 
of Skipton, carpenter, all that Plott or p'cell of ground, contayu. 
iug by estimacon eight yardes in ffront, with a litle Garden thereunto 
belonging, adioyning to Anne Stirke house nere the Bridge by Skipton 
Milles : Whereupon hee is to builde & errect a Tenn'table House, 
instead of his former House there, burnt downe in the late War re. To 


hould from the first dale of June nest fFor the Tearme of xxi yeares," 
&c. In a Chfford rent book of 1649, occurs the following: — "Tho. 
Preston, of Skipton, clerke, desireth to have a lease of one decayed 
housestead in Skipton on the west side of the church yeard, kite in his 
possession before it was cast downe, under the yearly rent of £9 5s. Od., 
with house and barne and all the garden stead and waist ground 
belonging the same." The desired lease w^as granted to the parish 
clerk: — " Graunted the xxiiith daie of June, 1652, unto Thomas 
Preston, of Skipton, parrish clerk, & Margarett his wife, all that Soyle 
or plott of grownd in the Towne of Skipton aforesayde, whereupon one 
house & Barne formerly stood belonging to the said Thomas, and 
burnt downe in the late War?'. Whereupon Hee is to errect and builde a 
Tenn'table house & such other Buildings as hee shall thinck fitt," 
&c. It is improbable that these were accidental fires ; it is much more 
likely that they occurred during the siege, and were traceable to the 
operations connected with it. 

In February of 1650 the work of restoring Skipton Castle was begun 
by Lady Anne Clifford, its then sole possessor — worthily styled " the 
restorer of the breaches."* The demolition or 'slighting' had been 
completed some twelve or fifteen months before. 

The following letter, taken from the Fairfax Correspondence, is 
interesting, in as much as it refers evidently to works preliminary to 
the restoration :— 

" Lady Anne Pembroke to Mr. Charles Fairfax. 

" To my assured friend, Mr. Charles Fairfax, at his house at Menston in 
Yorkshire, this — 

" Sir, — This day I received your letter of the 29th of the last month, wherein 
you tell me that Mr. Waterton hath at length finished the drawings of the landscapes 
of Skipton Castle and of Barden Tower; but I have not received either of those 
landscapes, in which I pray you earnestly to take some care in searching diligently 
what is become of them, that so I may have them safely delivered to me, which, 
when it is done, I will send the gentleman (Mr. Waterton) whatsoever you shall think 
fit, and I pray you in your next letter write me word what you think is fit for me to 
send him. I will do my good will to your eldest daughter, might I do her any good, 
or to any of your other children, for I acknowledge myself much obliged to you, 
which I win study to requite, and so I rest, — 

" Brougham Castle, Novr. 3rd, 1646. 

" Yoiu: assured true friend, 

Annk Pembkoke. 

* "The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in."— Isa., Iviii,, 12. 


" Mr. Benjamin Kent came hither to me and Isabella,* the 26th day of the last 
month, but brought no money out of Craven to us, as I imagine you know bef^ore 
hand. When I had only done writing of this letter, so far as this, did I now receive 
the survey of Skipton and Barden Tower, for which I pray you give Mr. Waterton 
what you think fit, and write me word what you have given him, and I will send it 
you again." 

Lady Anne visited the castle in the summer of 1649, and then first 
saw the woful condition of her ancestral residence, f At her first visit 
she remained only ten days, but at her second she stayed at the castle, 
as we find from her own records, twelve months, and occupied that time 
in " repairing it, and causing her boundaries to be ridden, and her 
courts to be kept." But the restoration was not yet extended to the old 
portion of the castle. During her stay her ladyship resided in the 
easternmost portion, and her sleeping chamber was in the Octagon 

On February 18th, 1651, Lady Anne went to Appleby Castle, and on 
the 24th February, 1652, she again came to Skipton. The repair of the 
church was begiui three years later. As it has been observed, Lady 
Anne was not one " to dwell in ceiled palaces, while the Lord's house 
lay waste." She therefore had all necessary repairs done to this sacred 
building. The shattered windows were replaced ; the tombs of her two 
little brothers were renewed ; and she erected a magnificent morltment 
to her father, " adorned with the armorial bearings of the various noble 
families whose blood mingled in his veins." She also built up the 
steeple, which had been partially destroyed. Writing about Skipton in 
his History of Iiipo7i (1733) old Gent says: — "In the Civil Wars the 
Steeple was almost demolish'd : The Five Bells were taken as a Prize ; 
and tho' agreed to be redeem'd for Two Hundred Pounds, yet only Four 
of them were sent back, which are in the present steeple, that was 
erected (or rather re-built) by the Countess of Pembroke." 

In October, 1655, after the old portion of the castle had remained 
in ruins for seven years. Lady Anne had the rubbish cleared away, 
and six months later actual restoration of the shattered walls was 
begun. The old roofs were replaced by sloping ones, so that there 

* Lady Isabella Sackville, her daughter by the Earl of Dorset, her first husband. 

t " On the 11th July, 1649, taking her leave of her two daughters and their lords and 
grandchildren in Baynard's Castle, she went out of London towards Skipton, whither she came 
on the 18th of that montli into her castle there, which was demolished some (j months before 
by order of Parliament, because it had been a garrison for the King. From thence on the 28th 
she went to Barden Tower."— Lady Anne's Memorials. 



might not be a possibility of mounting cannon upon them.* A 
new entrance to the castle was built, with a chamber above, and a 
flight of steps leading up to the gateway. Above the entrance is the 
following inscription : — 

This Skipton Castle was repayred 
BY THE Lady Anne Clifford, Covntess 
Dowager op Pembrookee, Dorsett, and 
Montgomery, Baronesse Clifford, West- 


OF Skipton in Craven, and Shiripf- 
esse by inheritance OF the covntie 
of Westmorland, in the ye ares 1657 


58, VER. 12. God's Name be praised. 

The entrance gateway of the castle and the adjacent towers were 
repaired, and on high the family motto, " Desormais," ("Henceforth") 
was placed. In August, 1659, Lady Anne returned to Skipton, after 
the castle had been thoroughly restored. At that time a garrison was 
still stationed here, a,nd possibly from this circumstance the Lady 
removed in December to Barden. It may not be out of place here to 
allude to the tradition that the old yew-tree standing in the court-yard 
of the castle was planted by Lady Anne to replace one destroyed during 
the siege. Dr. Whitaker and others favour the idea, but it seems after 
all an extremely vmlikely one. 

It is worthy of mention that in 1651 Craven was again overi'un with 
troops. It was on the occasion of the march of the newly declared 

* " The conduit court was cleared of the rubbish, and the rooms were covered with slate, 
and the gutters with lead ; but she was not suffered to cover the rooms with lend."— Lady 
Anne's Memorials. 


King, Charles II., from Scotland to England. His whole course 
through the northern counties was harassed by General Lambert, who 
in August, 1651, was encamped at Settle. On the 11th of that month 
he sent the following letter to the Council of State : — " Through the 
mercy of God we have now reached the enemy, being as near you as 
they are. We are this night with five of our best regiments of horse 
quartered at Settle-in-Craven, one hundred and forty miles from St. 
Johnston, where we were on Sunday seven-night. The enemy as we 
hear are quartered about Lancaster. They have not above 4,000 horse 
and dragoons, and 8,000 foot, and these are very sickly and drop off 
daily." The day on which this letter was despatched Major-General 
Harrison with additional troops marched from Eipon to Skipton, and on 
the 13th he joined Lambert near Blackburn. A fortnight later the 
decisive battle of Worcester was fought, and the Royalist army was 
utterly routed. During this engagement Lambert ran a narrow escape 
of death, his horse being shot under him. The fugitive Royalists were 
on all sides taken prisoners. It is said that scarcely a town northward 
of Worcester did not raise a company or a troop of its own for this 
purpose, and that many Scotch officers " were taken prisoners even when 
they had got so far as Wakefield, Leeds, Skipton, and York." For 
General Lambert's conspicuous part in this great victory, it was resolved 
by Parliament, on the 9th of September following, " that lands of in- 
heritance in Scotland to the yearly value of one thousand pounds sterling 
be settled upon him and his heirs." Upon the Restoration Lambert's 
fortunes were reversed. In the winter of 1659 a league was formed 
against him, in which General Monk took a prominent part. The 
Governor of Hull, Colonel Overton, and Lilburne, another Parliamentary 
oflficer, both sided with Lambert. At this time Skipton Castle appears 
again to have been occupied for defence. In a letter (included in the 
Fairfax Collection) written by a Royalist while the manoeuvres for 
Lambert's downfall were in progress, the following passage occurs : — 
" About Harewood we met a party of Lilburne's regiment, that had been 
conducting ammunition to Skipton Castle. ... At Arthington 
there came to us Sir Thomas Slingsby and several other gentlemen of 
the country, with their friends and attendants, horse, and arms ; but 
not fit to oppose Lilburne's old regiment, which we expected would be 
upon us next morning at York, much less Lambert's army. They had 
seized the powder and bullet that was going to Skipton, so the war was 
declared." Lambert was soon afterwards taken prisoner. 

Before concluding, a few miscellaneous details may be introduced. I 


pass over the tradition, prevalent at one day, that the towers of the 
castle were hung with sacks of wool, which prevented their utter 
destruction ; and others of a like nature. The Parliamentary soldiers 
■were once credited with having stolen the brasses of two of the Clifford 
tombs in the parish church. Unjust probably is the charge, for some 
years ago several were found behind some wainscotting in an old farm- 
house at Thorlby. These have been restored to their original positions, 
and the brasses still missing have been replaced by the liberality of the 
Duke of Devonshire. It will surprise no one to learn that during the 
siege many of the shrewd folk of Skipton concealed their money in 
unlikely places in their houses. I find that in the time of Thomas Earl 
of Thanet — 1684-1729 — several discoveries of hidden money were made 
in Skipton, and were claimed by the Earl as treasure-trove. The coins 
were of the reign of Charles I. In 1728, in the time of the same Earl, 
a similar discovery was made at Kildwick. Quoting from a document 
which now first sees the light, I find that in pulling down "an old 
building formerly part of a dwelling-house, and within or adjoining to 
the yard of the dwelling-house of Haworth Currer, of Kildwick, the 
workmen employed by him found in digging up an earthen or clay floor 
a box buried about six inches deep, wherein were hid Broads, half- 
Broads, and other pieces of gold in the nature of medals, to the value 
of £150, which by their dates and inscriptions appear to have been 
coined in the Civil Wars, and most of them when Charles I. resided at 
Oxford; which box and gold the workmen delivered to Mr. Currer, 
supposing they belonged to him, being found in one of his buildings, 
which had been used as a parlour in the time of his grandfather. As 
soon as the Earl of Thanet became acquainted with this he gave orders 
to his steward at Skipton Castle to demand this gold as treasure-trove 
belonging to his lordship as lying within his castle and manor of 
Skipton and Clifford's Fee. Upon the Earl of Thanet's stewards 
demanding of Mr. Currer the said box and gold as treasure-trove he 
refused, insisting that as it was in a house of his own, of which he had 
the inheritance, and was within the manor of Kildwick, of which he 
insisted that he was lord, the said gold belonged to himself. He also 
alleged that he could prove by a living witness that his grandmother 
had often said there was some money hidden in or about the house in 
the Civil Wars, which afterwards could not be found, so he presumed 
this to be the money." The Earl, it appears, contemplated litigation for 
the recovery of the money, but he seems to have been advised against 
that course. 



Old township books of Skipton contain interesting references to tlie 
Scottish Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, and this is perhaps the fittest 
place for their appearance. 

The rising of 1715 and 1716 was in support of the Old Pretender's 
claim to the English throne. From the first there seemed no prospect 
of success. In the north of England a few of the Catholic gentry- 
mustered under Lord Derwentwater and Mr. Forster, and were joined 
by a small force of Highlanders sent to their assistance by the Earl 
of Mar, who led the revolt in Scotland. The rebels marched down 
into Lancashire, but at Preston were compelled to surrender. The 
following extracts from a Castle Account-book refer to this rising : — 

1716. — Jan. 21. — Expences of my [steward] journey to Leeds to wait upon Lord 
Burlington and other gentlemen, when the rebbels were at Preston, for 
myself, man, and a guyde, 12s. Gd.; attending the deputy -livtennants and 
justices several times, 8s. 6d. ; charge of a messinger to Preston and Settle, 
7s. Gd., for information what way the rebells marched, £01 08s. 06c;. 

Charge of entertaining above 20 servants and near 40 horses of the Lord Carliyle's, 
Lord Lumley's, Generall Carpenter's, and other gentlemen, when the 
King's forces marched to Preston, one night meat, drink, hay, and corne, 
£01 05s. OOc^. 

Paid for men watching the Castle two nights while the rebeUs were at Preston, 
£00 08s. OOd. 

The next entry is illustrative of the social life of the period, though 
it does not relate to the rebellion : — 

1717.— Paid Robert Banks and others by my lord's order in discharge of three 
pound, which they pretend was drunk at their houses at the proclaiming of 
the peace in the late Queen's time by severall gentlemen yt attended Mr. 
Banks at the proclaiming of the said peace, which the town refused to pay, 
£1 10s. Od. 

The rebellion of 1745 was a much more formidable affair. This, too, 
was an attempt to place a Stuart, Charles Edward, known for distinction 
as the " Young Pretender," upon the throne. Towards the end of 
August Charles had round him a force of nearly fifteen hundred men. 
A little later, with increased and increasing force, he entered Edinburgh 
in triumph. At the battle of Preston Pans in September he defeated 
the English troops who had been sent against him, and two months 
later he crossed the border, and marched down to Lancashire. No 
small amount of alarm prevailed in England. Proclamations were 
issued against the Papists, and the militia was hastily called out. 



The accounts of tlie Skipton Constables for 1745 furnish some 
interesting references to the precautions taken against the rebels : — 

Sept. 27. — Attending the justices when the watch was ordered to be set, 8d. 

„ 28. — Paid for the watch warrant, Is. 
Oct. 2. — P'd for a load of coals for a watch at low end of the town, IQd. 

„ 12. — Attending the Sessions concerning the return of the Papist warrant, 8d. 
Paid for the expense of the watch for Friday and to Sunday senet [se'nnight], 

10s. 7d. 
P'd Thomas Ouldfield for drink for the watch from Sunday to Tuesday 

sen't, 8s. 
P'd Tho. Ouldfield for fire, 3s. 
P'd to Jno. Towson for drink for ye watch. Is. Id. 

Another Constable's accounts contain similar entries : — 

Sept. 16.— Spent with the heads of the town when consulting about pressed men 

at several times, 12s. 6d. 
P'd for a load of coals for ye watch. Is. 
Ale for the watch, 14s. lOd. 
Sept. 20.— Paid Samuel Atkinson for going as a guide with an express to 

Knaresbro', 2s. 6d. 
Paid to Mr. Wilkinson for one horse to Otley with ye D. Bedford's baggage, 

2s. 6d. 
Oct. 15.— Ale from the 15th October to the 2nd of November for the watch, 9s. 
Ale from the 1st of Deer, to the 15th of Dec, 7s. 
Pd. for 9 loads of coals for the use of the watch, 9s. 
Oct. 21. — Ale to Goodgion, when taking an account of the inhabitants, 2i(^. 

„ 23. — Pd. John Lawson for watching, the watch not being there, Qd. 
Nov. 10. — Ale when a man was taken up as a spy, 6d, 

The Pretender had his supporters in these parts, it would seem : one 
Richard Wright, a good Scotchman, one may guess, appears to have 
attempted to join the rebels as soon as they came within reasonable 
distance of Skipton. But the attempt was unsuccessful ; loyal Skip- 
tonians followed the fugitive, and brought him back, with no little 
jubilation, we may well believe. The result was that poor Wright, 
whose heart was with the Stuart, found himself in York Castle, where 
he might only wish success to his partizans, assistance from him being 
out of the question. No doubt there were many other Richard Wrights 
in this neighbourhood, though they might not make open profession of 
their sympathies as did the one of whom the Skipton Constables' book 
tells us : — 

Nov. 21. — To pursuing and taking Richard Wright when for going to the 

rebels, 8s. 
Nov. 22. — Pd. for conveying Richard to York Castle, £1. 
Paid for pair of shoes for Richard to go in, 8s. 
8 pints of ale to Richard and his dinner and three persons attending him before he 

went to the justice. Is. Gd. 


Nov. 23. — P'd to 2 men going with Richard Wright to Mr. Bawdwen, Is. 
„ 25. — P'd Robt. Johnson and Thos. Metcalfe for going to York with Richd 
Wright, lis. 

The next two entries refer to the march of the rebels southward from 
Scotland. The English army ready to meet them was under command 
of the Duke of Cumberland, other Generals being Wade, the Duke of 
Richmond, and the Marquis of Granby. The Pretender proceeded into 
south Lancashire by way of Penrith, Shap, Kendal, and Lancaster, 
reaching Preston on the 26th November. 

Nov. 27. — Paid to John Oldfield for going to Gisburn to get intelligence of the 

rebels, by the consent of the town, 2s. 
Nov. 27. — Paid to James Atkinson, for going to Clitherow to get intelligence, 

9s. 2d. 

The following four payments were on account of guides and 
messengers with despatches for and from the Duke of Cumberland : — 

Dec. 19. — For two horses charged from Skipton to Clitherow with an express from 

General Wade to the Duke, 7s. 
Dec. 21. — Paid Thomas Kirkham and James Atkinson for two horses charged 

with an express from the Duke of Cumberland to General Wade, 10s. 
Dec. 24. — P'd to Francis Wilks for going as a guide to Blirrowbridge with a 

messenger from the Duke of Cixmberland to General Wade, 3s. 
1746. — Jany. 15. — Pd Henry Holden for going to Clithero to gett intelligence 

which way the Duke of Montague's regiment marcht, 3s. 

Other entries referring to the rebellion are : — 

Jan. 15. — Pd to John Fieldhouse, a private soldier in the Marquis of Granby's 

regiment, with a pass signed by the Mayor of Preston, Gc^. 
Feb. 1. — P'd more to John Fieldhouse, when he lay sick at Skipton, for a pair of 

shoes and 2 days' pay, 2s. 4c7. 
Feb. 14.— P'd to Tho. Oldfield, for the watch, £1 18s. U. 
Feb. 21. — P'd to Wm. Bell for 3 horses going to Otley with two sick men and 

part of the Duke of Bedford's baggage, 4s. M.. 
March 3. — Paid to James Charley, a lame soldier, discharged out of Captain 

Candicoat's company of foot in the Marquis of Granby's regmient, 6(Z. 

This rebellion ended with the battle of Culloden in April, 1746, 
On the 20th of that month I find a payment was made by the 
churchwardens of Skipton as follows : — 

The Duke driving the Scots from Stu-ling — to the ringers, 5s. 

Among the Family Papers at Bolton Abbey is a record entitled 
" A Record of Drums, Colours, and other Particulars belonging to the 
Malitia, 1745, at Bolton Hall." There are enumerated : — " 16 colours 
silk, 16 sashes silk. At Barden Tower — 45 officers' pikes and stafs, 30 
halberts, 30 drums, 48 drumsticks." 



HERE is no reason to suppose that a church existed at 
Skipton before the Conquest. In the Domesday Survey, 
completed in the year 1086, there is no reference to one ; 
and that silence may with safety be taken as decisive on 
the point. It seems probable that Robert de Romille, to whom the 
Conqueror gave the honour of Skipton, was the original founder of the 
church, as he was of the castle. The earliest mention of a church at 
Skipton is in the time of William de Meschines, who married the 
daughter of Romille. Whitaker remarks : — " The first notice of it is a 
donation to the priory of Huntingdon from William de Meschines 
' ecclesise S'ti Trinitatis de Scipeton cum pert.' How that grant was 
retracted or avoided does not appear," he adds, "yet in the year 1120, 
this church, with the chapel of Carleton and village of Embsay, formed 
the original endowment of the priory of Embsay, by the same William 
de Meschines and Cecilia his wife." 

The original Norman church would be a small building, probably 
without tower of any kind. How long this remained in use it is 
impossible to say, but not certainly until the fourteenth century, at the 
beginning of which an enlargement took place. Before the extension 
the church was doubtless without the north and south aisles, as well as 
the clerestory, and in length it cannot have extended beyond the fourth 
pier from the west end. At the beginning of the fourteenth century a 
tower was probably added, and aisles were a.ttached to the north and 
south, and were continued as far as the western tower-wall. The sedilia 
in the south wall must be referred to this period, probably also the door 
iTi the north wall now walled up, and the recess near it used for holy 



Whitaker thinks the sedilia may be dated considerably earlier, 
" These, if they have not been removed (of which there is neither 
tradition nor appearance) will prove, first, that the former church 
consisted of one, or at most of two, aisles only ; secondly that the whole 
choir of three aisles has been added to the original building eastward, 
and the appearances of the masonry confirm this supposition." The 
sedilia have pointed arches with cylindrical columns, the bases being 
semi-circular. The diameter of each is 1ft. lOin., and the height from 
apex to base 4ft. Sin. 


Several entries in the Compotus of Bolton relate to the extension of 
the fourteenth century. In 1304 the canons made a payment as 
follows : — 

" In factura Cancelle do Skipton in p'te, Lxvs. vid.' 

Two years later, in 130G, are entries : — 

" Dona recepta de Everardo Fannel, ad fenestram vitrcam cancelli de Skypton, 

VIS. viiirf." 
" In factura cori de Skypton, LXivs. viud." 

In regard to the above Whitaker observes : — " It may fairly be inferred 
that the old Norman church of Skipton was now receiving a 
considerable enlargement. I believe the stone seats now remaining in 


the south wall, though not of the original building, are yet older than 
this. Yet I think the whole of the present choir has been extended 
eastward, and entirely rebuilt since this time." In 1307 there was 
another payment by the canons of Bolton ; — 

" Pro laticiis ad corum de Skypton, ins. ivd." 

This seems to show that this year the new choir was completed, for 
" lattices for the windows would be the last of the expense attending it." 
Mr. Morant says : — " The parts of the church of this date which remain 
are easily distinguished, and consist of a north door, now walled up, the 
six westernmost piers in the nave, portions of the tower, and a part of 
the south wall, in which sedilia are still preserved, the abnormal position 
of which it is difficult to account for." 

The church was considerably enlarged in the latter part of the 
fifteenth century, when the choir, with aisles, was continued to its 
present extent. Not only does the appearance of the masonry support 
this, but the fact that upon his accession to the throne in 1483 
Eichard III., who it will be remembered was for some time lord of 
the castle and honour of Skipton, ordered the payment of £20 towards 
the repair of the parish church here. 

The stonework of the western portion of the church is clearly shown 
by the north and south walls to be of much older date than the eastern. 
Against each of these walls there are six buttresses, and the western- 


most three are far more massive than the others, although that nearest 
what is now the vicar's vestry appears to have been restored at a date 
not far distant. Near the westernmost window of the north wall is a 
door-way which has been walled up. This is evidently of old date. A 
little farther a window-space, about five feet in height, and of rect- 
angular form, has also been closed. The tracery of the north windows 
is in four styles, and the south wall furnishes another. The western 
portion of the south wall, as of the clerestory, it may be noted, is 

In the year 1326 a vicarage was endowed by Archbishop Melton, 
though a former endowment existed, as appears from the facts that a 
vicar was instituted in 1267, and that in Archbishop Melton's endow- 
ment the former endowment is said to be insufficient. The instrument, 
which is dated September 16th, 1326, sets forth that the vicarage shall 
consist in " A manse in the town of Skipton, with its appurtenances, 
which the vicars have been accustomed to inhabit, mortuaries, living 
and dead, of Skipton, Thoralby, Stretton, Holm, Skybden, Draghton, 


Berewick, Bethmesley, Ryehill, Langberg, Holme, and Notelshagh. In 
white tithes, and those of calves, poultry, young pigs, and goats in the 
said places, and in Halton, Dearstanes, Hesselwood, Rucrofts, and 
Storithes. Likewise in all oblations, quadragesimals, tithe of flax, 
gardens, curtelages, geese, hens, eggs. In purifications, espousals, and 
other small tithes, in all the above places and in the vills of Emmesay 
and Esteby. Likewise in tithe of lamb within Skiptou, Thoralby, 
Stretton, Holme, Skybeden, Draghton, Berewics, Emmesay, Esteby, and 
Halton. And in the tithes of the mills of Bethmesley and Draghton. 
In tithe hay of Skipton, Skybedon, and Draghton ; and in espousals of 
the forest and of the Sacristaria, excepting mortuaries of the lords of 
Skipton Castle, and of all the tenants of the Religious of Boulton, on 
this side of Kexbeck, Likewise in the tithe of the park of Skipton, 
and the Forest, and in oblations, purifications, espousals, tithes, and 
mortuaries of Sir William Mauliverer and his heirs. Likewise in all 
oblations made in the churches of Boulton and Emmesay. And all 
tithes, purifications, and oblations of all the tenants of the Sacristaria, 
and all manner of tithes of the mansions, granges, cattle byres, and 
sheep folds of the said Religious in whosesoever hands they may be, 
which, and all others not above set forth as belonging to the Church of 
Skipton, shall remain with the Convent of Bolton and their successors 
wholly and for ever. The vicar to bear the ordinary and accustomed 
burdens, except the rebuilding and reparation of the Chancels, which 
the said Religioixs shall do when necessary, but extraordinary expenses 
shall be defrayed by the Religious and the Vicar for the time being 
according to their portions." At the dissolution of the priory of Bolton 
the Dean and Canons of Christ Church, Oxford, became (and still 
continue) the impropriators of the living of Skipton. 

In ancient times there were several chantries in Skipton parish 
church. In a record contained in the Eshton Hall MSS. (a copy 
apparently of Dugdale's), and entitled "The certificate of the most 
reverend Father in God Robert Archbishop of York and others, 
authorised by the King's Ma'tie's com'ission dated the foureteenth day 
of ffebruary, in the thirtie seventhe yeare of the raigne of King Henry 
the Eighth, &c., to survey all and siuguler chauntryes," &c., arc 
mentioned the following chantries in Skiptou chui'ch : — 

" The chantrye of the Roode in the p'ish church there founded by Margaret Brand, 

widow, and Ric. Peck, clerke, value yerely iiij?. ixt^. 
The chantrye of our Ladye in the said p'ishe church founded by Thomas Garth, 

value yearly iiij?. xvs. 
The chantrye of St. Nicholas in the said church, the yearly value iiij?, xiijs." 


The return mentious also : — 

" The ffree chappell in the castle of Skipton, otherwise called the castle parsonage 
of the foundacon of the Earle of Albemarle, the yearely value xviijs. ijd." 

Chantries are shown to be connected with the churches of Bolton-by- 
Bowland, Mitton, Waddington, Kirkby-Malham, Long-Preston, Kildwick, 
Gargi-ave, Ilkley, Giggleswick, Banknewton in Gargrave Church, 
Rilstone, and Slaidburn. 

There was at Skipton as at Bolton chiu*ch an altar of St. Nicholas. 
The following award relating to a homicide committed upon a member 
of the Lambert family makes reference to the altar in Skipton church : — 
" Betwene John Lambert, of Preston-in-Craven, William, Thomas 
Eichard, John, and Christopher Lambert, his children and other 
kinsmen, on th' one p't, and Thomas Knoll, Henry, Richard, Stephen, 
and Thomas KnoUe del Floder, on th' other p't, for the dethe and appel 
of Henrie Lambert late passed to God; for which the p'ties stand 
bounde to ye awarde of Wylliam Blackburne, Chanon of Bolton. 
Awarded and ordeyned yt Tho. Knoll, Henry, Ptichard, Stephen, 
and Thomas, cum to ye p'ish church of Preston, and ther in tyme of 
s'vice kneeling on ther knees loose gerded, ask God forgevenes of ye 
dethe of Henrie Lambert, and ask forgevenes of his fader John Lambert, 
and pay xl m'ks to ye behofe of Jo. Lambert and his children unto 
Ptic. Pilkington, Esq., on the awter of St. Nicholas in the p'ish chui'ch 
of Skypton. Dat. xiii Feb., xiv Ed. IV." (1475.) 

In the time of the Civil Wars Skipton church was greatly damaged 
by the Parliamentary forces, but was repaired by the same good 
benefactress who restored the castle. Even before she began to restore 
her ancestral home Lady Anne Clifford turned her attention to the 
adjoining church.* In her private memorials Lady Anne refers to the 
repairing of the church : — "In the Summer 1655 whilst there she was 
at Appleby Castle, at her own charge she caus'd the steeple of Skipton 
Church to be built up againe, which was puU'd down in the time of the 
late Warrs, and leaded it over and then repaired some part of the 
Church and new glaz'd the Windows, in every of which Window she put 
quaries, stained with a yellow Colour, these two letters, viz., A P, and 
under them the year 1655. . . . Besides she rais'd up a noble Tomb 
of Black Marble in memory of her Warlike Father." Six of the original 

* At the Restoration in 1855, an inscription in ancient characters was, it is said, discovered 
upon the wall of the north aisle :— " Is it time for you, ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses and 
this house to lie waste ?" 


quaries inserted in the windows still remain. I find that not only was 
the church greatly injured during the Civil War, but houses standing 
near it. In 1649 "Tho, Preston, of Skipton, clerke" of the parish, 
desired of Lady Anne Clifford " to haue a lease of one decayed housestead 
in Skipton on the west side of the churchyeard, laite in his possession, 
before it was cast downe." Doubtless the same house is referred to in 
the following grant of a lease in June, 1652 : — "Graunted the xxiiith 
dale of June, 1652, unto Thomas Preston, of Skipton, pamsh clerk, & 
Margarett his wife, all that Soyle or plott of ground in the Towne of 
Skipton aforesayde, whereupon one house & Barne formerly stood, 
belonging to the said Thomas, a7id burnt downe in the late Warr. 
Whereupon Hee is to errect," &c. 

The present church consists of chancel and nave, with clerestory, and 
north and south aisles, which run the whole length of the building. 
There are seven bays of arches. The piers of the three easternmost 
bays are in the form of an octagon, while those of the four nearest to 
the tower are square, placed diagonally, with cylindrical columns 
branching from the angles. The length of the church, from the east to 
the west window, is 134 feet 6 inches, or excluding the tower 114 feet, 
and the width 54 feet 4 inches. There is a gallery on a portion of the 
north and soiith sides and at the west end. Until some twenty-six years 
ago there was a gallery on the east side, but at the restoration this very 
wisely was removed and placed on the then open south side. The 
faculty for the erection of the west gallery was granted on the 7th 
December, 1786; that for the erection of the east or organ gallery on 
the 26th November, 1802; and the faculty to erect the north gallery 
was granted the 28th July, 1835. An old account-book of the church- 
wardens contains references to the erection of the organ gallery : — 

"November 14th, 1802. — This day the following notice was read by me: — 'The 
principal inhabitants of this parish are requested to meet on Sunday next in the 
vestry immediately after evening service to take into consideration the future repairs 
of the intended new organ and gallery.' — John Hall (clerk)." 

The meeting was held accordingly : — 

" November 21st. — In pursuance of the above notice a meeting of the inhabitants 
of the parish was held in the vestry, when it was unanimously resolved that the 
future repairs of the organ and intended gallery shall from time to time when 
necessary be made at the expense of the inhabitants of this parish. — RoBT, Dyneley, 
Minister," &c. 

A faculty to new pew the church was granted in 1719, and these pews 
continued in use until 1855. There is now accommodation for 1,400 


The north and south-west ends of the church are divided from the 
main portion, the arches formerly open having been filled up. The 
northern apartment is now used as the minister's vestry, and the 
southern as a robing-room. The latter for more than 160 years was 
known as the Petyt Library, the valuable collection of books given by 
Mr. Sylvester Petyt having until 1880 been kept there. In that year 
the books were removed to the new Grammar School, as they were 
found to be of no public utility in their old situation. The minister's 
vestry contains a good oil painting of Mr. Sylvester Petyt, upon which 
is a plate inscribed as follows : — 

" Sylvester Petyt, Esqre., died Oct. 1st, 1719. This portrait was repaired at the 
expense of the trustees of his Charity Estate, 1844." 

By the side of the entrance to the same vestry is a board containing a 
list of benefactions to Skipton. A hundred and fifty years ago the 
historian Gent paid a passing visit to Skipton, and he has recorded that 
a list, though a smaller one, existed then in the church. 

The fine oaken roof is one of the most interesting features of the 
church. It was constructed, it is supposed, in the time of Richard III., 
and is nearly flat. Whitaker does not refer the roof to so early a 
period. He says : — " The roof can scarcely be older than Henry VIIL's 
time ; it is extremely handsome : flat, but with light flying springers, 
like that of the castle of Hurst Monceaux, in Sussex. At the east end 
are the arms of the priory of Bolton." When the church was repaired 
in 1854-5 the roof was found to be insecure. Mr. J. A. Cory, architect, 
reported as follows upon an examination he made of it : — " I found the 
roof in a dangerous condition. It is a good sample of northern perpen- 
dicular work : it was put up, I believe, by Richard III. I was very- 
anxious to preserve it, not only for its artistic or archaeological interest, 
but as a memorial of at least one good thing done by a man whose 
memory is not redolent with much of the odour of sanctity. The ends 
of all the main beams were decayed, as were those of the common 
rafters. I had them taken down, pierced, and wall-pieces and brackets 
introduced to give them security. I thus obtained a good bearing and 
preserved the roof; the cornice was likewise inserted to carry the 
shortened common rafters and admit ventilation." 

The ancient screen is a very beautiful piece of workmanship. It is 
said to have come originally from Bolton. Prior to 1802 the screen 
supported a handsome rood-loft, but in that year, as has been stated 
before, the east or organ gallery was erected, and the rood-loft was con- 


sequently taken down, and the screen moved forward. In Dr. 
Whitaker's time the screen had upon it the following inscription : — 

Jlnno W^i milcssimo quingcnfissimo fricessimo tcviio 
et axVo regni "llegis /^ennci octavi 1(§§^ uicessimo 

[In the year of Our Lord one thousand five hundred and thirty-three, 
and in the twenty-fifth year of King Henry VIIL] 

Not a vestige of this now remains. When the church was restored in 
1854-5 the old screen was taken down, though under the architect's 
protest, and removed one bay farther eastward. " After an altercation 
and strong protest on my part," says Mr. Cory, " the fine old screens 
were taken down. The churchwardens and the authorities of Christ 
Chm-ch, Oxford, were against me, and finally I agreed to abide by the 
opinion of Dr. Hook, then vicar of Leeds, who was also against me." 
The screen was for a long time preserved by Mr. E. H. Sidgwick, who 
was one of the stoutest opponents of the proposal to banish this ancient 
treasure from the church. 

Upon the north wall, and immediately adjacent to the organ, is a 
painting of the Koyal Arms. It is signed "Smith, 1798." I have 
come across an entry in an old churchwardens' book relating to this: — 

1798.— March 4.— Christ. Brown & Co., for frame for King's Ai-ms, &c., &c., 
£4 lis. 8d. 

This George Smith was a native of Skipton. As a " poker-painter " he 
earned great fame, and his works now bring high prices. In addition 
to the " King's Ai'ms," Smith executed the burnt painting which 
occupies the upper portion of the tower arch, and thus divides the beU 
chamber from the church. The subject is " The appearance of the 
Angel to the Shepherds of Bethlehem." It is worked on sycamox-e. 
Smith executed this work in 180G, and received twenty guineas for it. 
When the churchwardens agreed with the artist, they made it an 
important condition that the painting should be '' finished before the 
next Visitation." The following payment was on account of this 
picture : — 

1843.— Sept. 7.— Mr. Stoney, painter, for repairing the frame and gilding picture 
frame, &c., in old gallery, £1 18s. 6d. 

In January, 1841, the church narrowly escaped being burnt down. 
The fire arose from ignition of woodwork by contact with stove pipes. 


Fortunately, it was early discovered, and no great injury was done. A 
later casualty proved more serious. On June lOth, 1853, during a very 
severe thunderstorm, the church was struck by lightning. It was 
Sunday morning when the storm occurred, and the congregation were 
engaged in worship. " The thunderstorm," says a Skipton monthly of 
that date, " was not anticipated even a quarter of an hour before the 
accident occurred. Certainly about that time it became warmer, and 
somewhat close, but the congregation were not prepared for the ensuing 
smart crack of thunder or that vivid flash of lightning which, after 
knocking down one of the pinnacles of the steeple, entered the church 
on the north side, and, having dislodged a quantity of stones, lime, and 
the stove pipe, passed across the church, injured some pews, and the 
other stove pipe, and escaped out of a window in a south-easterly 
direction, the church being filled with dust and sulphur, and the 
congregation terrified, but uninjured." Mr. J. A. Cory, of Durham, 
was the architect appointed to report u^Don the needful repairs, and his 
report stated that several beams of the nave roof had been rendered 
insecure by the shock. "The pillars beneath the east gallery," he 
reported, "are evidently in a bad state, and the arches should be 
properly shored up, and all the five pillars effectually under-pinned. A 
portion of the south side of the choir clerestory should be taken down 
and rebuilt, as it is unsafe in its present condition." The foregoing 
alterations were not all rendered necessary by the storm. A committee 
— consisting of the Rev. P. C. Kidd, Capt. Eliott, Messrs. H. Alcock, 
Heelis, J. Robinson, F. Horner, T. Brown, Campbell, J. Carr, and E. 
Robinson — was appointed to carry out the requisite repairs, which were 
estimated to cost £1,470, towards which the Oxford College gave £620. 
Some time after the storm the vicar, the Rev. P. C. Kidd, M.A., 
preached two sermons in commemoration of the deliverance of the 
church and congregation. His texts were " Let the high praises of God 
be in their mouth " (Psalm cxlix., 6.); and " When I am in heaviness, 
I will think upon God " (Psalm Ixxvii,, 3). 

While the restoration of the church was pending a number of 
gentlemen resident in the town, with praiseworthy taste, agitated for the 
removal of that great disfigurement of the building, the organ gallery. 
They offered to transfer this gallery to the south side at their own 
expense if the township would but give sanction. At a vestry meeting 
held on April 28th, 1854, the inhabitants refused the offer, but at a 
meeting held May 13th of the same year, the proposal was adopted, 
"provided that it could be done by voluntary subscriptions." The 
gallery was accordingly removed. 


The floor of the church was at the same time laid with from nine to 
twelve inches of concrete on account of the offensive odours emitted 
from the vaults and graves below. The report then made of " The 
Sanitary Condition of Burial Vaults and Graves in the Church " was as 
follows : — " The general results of our enquiry may be pressed in a few 
words : — that every available space beneath the flooring of the parish 
church has been used for ages as a depository of the dead, and it passes 
belief how large a quantity of putrefying matter has in this way been 
disposed of. Even now the vaults are in some cases gorged with 
corruption, and all along the aisles and in the porch are graves fiUed 
with human remains. In most instances the only partition between the 
living and the dead is a single slab of stone and a few inches of earth. 
These oflered but a very imperfect barrier to the escape of noxious 
efiiuvia, and slowly, therefore, but incessantly, the gaseous products of 
decomposition were effused into the atmosphere of the church. But at 
the night services, established in 1843, when gas was introduced into 
the church, when the air became rarefied by the warmth of stoves and 
burning gas, the rank vapours were drawn out in uncontrollable 
profusion. It is impossible to say what mischief was done by this, and 
how many, while worshipping within the sanctuary, have breathed the 
atmosphere of corruption, and have sickened unto death." While these 
alterations were being carried out, an old stone altar slab, measuring- 
nine feet in length, two feet seven inches in width, and seven inches in 
thickness, was found. It is now ia the north aisle of the chancel. 
Several crosses may be distinguished upon the stone. The church was 
re-opened on Wednesday, April 23rd, 1856. 


The font is by no means of modern date. It is of large size, and is 
supported by an octagpnal pillar upon an octagonal plinth. The height 
of the font from the slab which si^pports it is thirty-four inches, and the 
diameter of the basin is twcnty-thi-ee inches, and the depth ten inches. 
Formerly the font stood higher than at present, for there were two 
steps. I do not know to what circumstance the following outlay is to 
be attributed : — 

1788. — Sept. 7. — Cliris. and .John Brown, for work done at the font, lis. IW. 
1788. — Richd. Atkinson, for removing the font and stones, &c., £3 10s. Ihd. 

The carved oak cover is a handsome as well as massive piece of 
workmanship. It appears to be a production of the sixteenth or 
seventeenth century. Until recent years the cover was movable by 


means of chain and weight, but when pews were introduced under the 
tower it was fixed at some distance above the font, so that the view 
might not be interfered with. It is said that the old font now in the 
court-yard of the castle was formerly in use in the church, but I am 
inclined to doubt the coi-rectness of that statement. It seems more 
probable that that font came out of the castle chapel when it was 
disused about a hundred and fifty years ago. 


A CENTURY ago, and even less, the only accompaniment to the musical 
portion of divine service was that of violins. Several extracts from the 
churchwardens' account book relating both to the vocal and instru- 
mental musicians may be quoted : — 

1765. — Dec. 22. — To Thos. Robinson, for one quarter teaching to sing, 10s. 6d. 
1782. — June 9. — Samuel Lowcock, for teaching singing in the church, £1 Is. 
1787. — June 3. — Mr. Hall, for to make good the deficiency on the bass viol : it 

originally cost £8 14s. 2d. (private subscriptions £5 8s.,) £3 6s. 2d. 
1790. — Sept. 5. — Francis Waller, for a bassoon, which is the property of the parish 

of Skipton, £1 Is. 
1794. — June 1. — Francis Waller, a gratuity for bass reeds, 7s. 6d. 

In 1803 an organ was obtained and an organ gallery built, for on 
November 21st of the preceding year a vestry meeting resolved that 
" the futm'e repairs of the intended gallery and organ shall from time 
to time when necessary be made at the expense of the inhabitants of 
this parish." On January 1st of the year following, it was decided that 
" the organist do receive the sum of £5 5s. per annum for instructing 
children in psalmody," and that " a certain number of singers, not 
exceeding eight, attend to be taught, and to sing on a Sunday," for 
which the organist was to receive 5s. each per quarter from the parish. 

In 1813 one Mr. Charles Moraine was appointed organist of the 
church, at a salary of £45 per annum, together with £5 5s. for teaching 
psalmody. A few years later the organ was repaired at a cost of £20. 
In 1831 the organist's salary was in arrear, and the following 
determination was come to by the churchwardens : — " Resolved, that 
from March next the organist shall collect and receive the rents of the 
organ gallery, and shall have for his salary from that • period whatever 
he may be able to make by letting the pews, and that he receive in 
addition from the parish £15, and also five guineas annually for teach- 
ing the singers." This seems not to have improved matters, for in 
1833 it was resolved that unless speedier means could be ''resorted to 


for recovering payment of the arrears due to Mr. Moraine, the situation 
of organist be not filled up." The post was soon after vacated by Mr. 
Moraine, and was taken by Miss Dodd, of Liverpool, who retained it 
many years. A new organ, built by Messrs. F. W. Jardine and Co., of 
Manchester, at a cost of nearly £700, was added to the church in 
January, 1875. It was opened by Mr. W. T. Best, of London. A plate 
upon the organ is inscribed :— " This organ, built by pubhc subscription, 
was opened on the Feast of the Epiphany, 1875. — P. C. Kidd, rector; 
J. Eichardson, W. Smith, W. Bradley, churchwardens." 


The south porch is of very recent date. It was erected by IVIr. John 
Robinson, of Ravenshaw, near Skipton, in 1866. The structure which 
it re-placed was a very ancient one — low, plain, with stone ' slates,' and 
faced by an ancient sun-dial. The inner door of the porch, which dis- 
appeared with it, bore the date, it is said, 1710. The outer door con- 
sisted of three feet of woodwork, surmounted by iron railings. The 
present porch is a handsome structure, built after the Gothic style. In 
imitation of the old erection a dial has been fixed above the entrance, 
but instead of being of flagstone it is of brass, and is inscribed with the 
words "Memento Mori." The inner doors are half of parti-coloured 
glass, and the outer are of massive oak. At the threshold of the 
porch are iron gates. The porch was built after the plans of Mr. Lowe, 
of Manchester. It was erected by Mr. Robinson in memory of his first 
wife, and within the porch and over the church door a brass plate bears 
the following inscription : — " This porch was erected to the memoiy of 
Susan, the wife of John Robinson, of Ravenshaw, who died at Croft 
House, in this parish, July 1, 1850, and was interred near the east end 
of this church. — ' The memory of the just is blessed.' " 


The tower' of Skipton church rears its bold front at the west of the 
building. Massive and of great height, it is the object which most pro- 
minently strikes the observer as he looks northward from the market- 
place. It is probable that a tower was first added to the chui-ch at the 
beginning of the fourteenth century : this is the opinion of Mr. J. Cory, 
who did not speak at a venture. The present structure is of later date ; 
but the lower portion is of far earlier date than the higher, if, indeed, it 
may not be referred to the beginning of the fourteenth century. Like 
the church, the fine old tower has had its days of misfortune. When 



the one has suffered at the rude hands of the spoiler, the other has 
suffered with it. During the siege of Skipton Castle in the seventeenth 
century, the steeple received very rough treatment. Whitaker says 
that it was "nearly beaten down by random balls." No doubt this 
statement is tolerably correct, for Lady Anne Clifford herself speaks of 
causing " the steeple of Skipton church to be built up again, which was 
pulled down in the time of the late wars," and of leading it over. The 
Lady's act is recorded upon a tablet affixed to the north-east pinnacle of 
the steeple : — 

This Chvrch & Steeple 


Lady Anne Clifford 
CovNTESSE Dowager 
OF Pembrooke &c ano 
Dni 1665. 

In 1766 the steeple was again endangered, though the agency was a 
different one. The following is from a contemporary newspaper : — 
"July 26th. — The most terrible storm of thunder and lightning hap- 
pened at Skipton-in-Craven that has ever been known in the memory of 
the oldest man there. The lightning struck the church steeple, beat 
off the weathercock and several of the pinnacles, and has greatly rent 
and damaged the whole steeple. Much about the same time, at a place 
called Shire Oaks, near Skipton, a mare and foal were killed, the former 
of which was divided and torn by the lightning in an almost incredible 
manner, being nearly separated in two parts." 

It is possible that some such storm necessitated the following 
outlay : — 

1751. — July 21. — Thomas Stott's bill for repairing pinnacles, £1 8s. Id. 

Not long afterwards the steeple had again to be repaired : — 

Hugh Croft, for pointing church steeple, &c., £9 16s. Gd. 

In 1836 £20 was paid for the "repair of the pinnacles on the tower," 
and in 1837 £17 was paid to one Richard Walker for pinnacles, when 
it was decided to place 'four small vanes' on the tower. In 1841 a 
new weathercock was added at a cost of £9 10s. Od. On Sunday, 19th 


June, 1853, Skipton church was struck by lightning, and the west 
pinnacle of the tower, weighing a ton-and-a-half, fell. There was a 
panic amongst the congregation, as service was going on at the time. 


The present peal of six bells was cast in 1759 by Lester and Pack, of 
London. It is probable, however, that at a very early date there were 
bells in the steeple of Skipton church. The first reference I have found 
is of date 1616, and as the bell-frame is then said to be 'old' and 
* decayed,' we may conclude that it had already done service for a long 
period of years. The allusion is as follows : — " The old belframe beinge 
decayed, a new one was made and finished the 10th of September, 
op. pd. [^year aforesaid, 1616], by Rowlande Tatham, of Ashtou." 

In the parish register under date September 29th, 1617, it is recorded 
that " the third bell was broght the same day." An addition was made 
eleven years later: — "This year, 1628, the Right Honnerable Francis 
Earle of Cumberland gave the litle bell to the p'ish of Skipton, with all 
the wood belonging the frame where it now hings." 

The next year the ' chime ' was considered finished : — " The chime 
was made and finished at the perish charge in this same yeare, one 
thousand six hundreth twentie and nine, as by recordes it may appeare. 
Mr. Suttoim [Rev. Robert Sutton] was then vicker of Skipton, and 
Thomas Preston clarke of the same ; Thomas Tomlinsonne and Thomas 
Glover churchwardens." An entry made thirty-five years later is as 
follows: — "October the fSrst. — The chime was made at the charge of 
the parish when Robert Sutton was vicker, being aged fibur score and 
three, and his sonn Thomas Sutton Lecturer, and Edward Goodgion 
p'ish clarke, and the churchwardens at that time John Staynton, Samuell 
Green, ffrancis Catterson, — cost twelve pounds besides expense." 

At the time of the Civil Wars there were five bells in Skipton steeple, 
Writing in 1733 Gent, the famous Yorkshire topographer, says : — "In 
the Civil Wars the Steeple was almost demolish'd. The Five Bells 
were taken as a Prize, and tho' agreed to be redeem'd for Two Hundred 
Pounds yet only Four of them were sent back, which are in the present 
steeple, that was erected (or rather re-built) by the Countess of Pen- 
broke, as appears not only by the Letters in the Glass Windows, but 
also by the Inscription cut in the North East Pinnacle of it, viz. : ' This 
Church Steeple was repaired by the Lady Clifford, Countess Dowager of 
Penbroke, Anno Domini 1655.'" 


A good story is told of old Timothy Crowther, who flourished as 
parish clerk of Skipton during the second and third quarters of last 
century, and who. by the way, was a rather noted astrologer, and as such 
is mentioned by John Wesley.* From some cause or other Crowther 
became dissatisfied with the peal of bells which had so long occupied the 
steeple. He complained that they were cracked, and were not suffi- 
ciently good for a town of such importance as Skipton. Accordingly he 
at last presented himself before the churchwardens and boldly asked 
that a new peal might be cast. The wardens were astonished at such 
an extravagant idea. " It is out of the question," said they to Crowther. 
The country wardens — the " outen-towners," as they were called — were 
especially opposed to the proposal, for living away from Skipton they 
did not benefit much by the bells. Nothing daunted, the parish clerk 
modified his request. " I suppose you will not object to buying new 
clappers'?" said be. "Not at all; that is quite reasonable." And so 
Crowther had permission to order new clappers. The story goes, that 
he obtained clappers so large that after the first time of using the bells 
(whether sound or not before) were found to be unmistakeably cracked. 
The changing of the peal was before optional, now it was compulsory. 
Whether this story is true or not I do not pretend to say. It cannot be 
entirely without foundation, for it was in Crowther's time that the 
present bells were cast. The following entry in a churchwardens' book 
refers to the old peal : — 

1757. — May 9. — Paid at the Visitation, with the present't touching the bells 
being out of repair, 6s. 6d. 

It was not until 1759 that the township decided to purchase new 
bells. The course adopted is related in the appended resolution of a 
vestry meeting : — 

" At a vestry held in the parish church of Skipton pursuant to notice 
for that purpose, it is agreed that the bells belonging to the parish 
church of Skipton be exchanged or melted down with other metal into 
a peal of six new bells ; the tenor or largest of which new bells to be 
eighteen hundredweight or thereabouts, and the other five bells to be 
agreeable in tune and tone, and in proportion to the said tenor or 
largest bell. And it is also agreed that the present churchwardens, or 
their successors for the time being, or the major part of them, do 
contract with such person or persons for exchanging or melting down 
the said bells into a peal of six bells in manner aforesaid, and for 

* See Chapter XVI. 


hanging and carriage and other special matters relating the same as 
they shall think proper. And it is also agreed that a subscription be 
set on foot throughout the parish of Skipton in order to raise a sum of 
money for defraying the expenses of founding and hanging the said six 
new beUs and other matters relating the same, and if such subscription 
shall happen to fall short of defraying the said expenses, it is then 
agreed that a sum of money be borrowed on some person or persons on 
the credit of the inhabitants of the said parish of Skipton, to make up 
the deficiency tiU the same, together with interest from the time of 
borrowing, can be conveniently raised and paid by an assessment on the 
inhabitants of the said parish, which assessment is hereby agreed shall 
be paid. As witness our hands this twenty-third day of September, 
1759. — Walter Priest, vicar of Skipton; S. Plomer, George Demaine, 
Francis Atkinson, Hugh Tilletson, Thos. Heelis, Wm. Chippendale, 
Henry Atkinson, William Myers, William Atkinson, John Chippindale, 
churchwardens," &c., &c. 

Towards the cost of the bells the following voluntary subscriptions 

were received : — 


The Earl of Thanet 50 

The Duke of Devonshire 20 

Mr. Collins 1 

Skipton subscriptions 65 

Stirton and Thorlby ditto 9 

Embsay ditto 4 

Draughton ditto 3 

Halton and Bolton ditto 4 

Assessments and the sale of old material brought up this amount to 
£293 17s. 3d., the total cost of the new bells with the expense incun-ed 
in hanging them. The ' little bell ' was sold to the churchwardens of 
Kilstone for £15. The expenditure on the new bells included : — 










Dec. 8. — Carriage of little bell, 6s. 

„ Mr. Tillotson, for wood for head stocks, £2 2s. 
„ Drawing and Ingr. Articles for bells, &c., &c., £2 2s. 8d. 
„ Paid for carriage of new bells, £22 13s. 4d. 

„ Dean, the blacksmith, his bill for clappers and other iron work, £10 2s. 
,, ]VIr. Harrison's bUl for hanging bells, £37 10s. 9d. 
„ Mr. Harrison, for boll founder's use in p't for the bolls, £101 12s. 
„ Pd. Otley ringers by Mr. Harrison's order, £1 Is. 
„ Mr. Swail, for wood for bell frame, £14. 

„ Bell founders, more by a bill, £50 ; more, £29 12s. ; in full, £22 15s. Gd. ; 
£102 7s. 6d. 


The old bells were sent to Tadcaster, there, presumably, to be melted 
down. The new peal was first handled, it would appear, by ringers 
from Otley and Bingley, just as forty years before the Skipton ringers 
had themselves been engaged to ring at Colne when a new bell was 
added to the existing peal : — 

Chippindale's bill for treating the Otley and Bingley ringers, and several other 
things, £3 12s. lOd. 

Upon the massive oak frame-work from which the present bells 
depend are carved the following names : — " James Harrison, of Raison, 
Lincolnshire, beU-hanger, 1760; Walter Priest, vic'r; Hu. Tillotson, 
Tho. Heelis, Will. Chippindale, Hen. Atkinson, Tho. Booth, John 
Chippindale, Will. Myers, Welbury Holgate, Fra. Atkinson, Geo. 
Demain, churchwardens." Round the rim of the first or treble bell 
these words are to be seen: — " Exultemus Domino x 1759 x Lester 
& Pack of London fecit." Upon the tenor bell are the names of the 
vicar and the Skipton churchwardens : — "■ Walter Priest, vicar, Hugh 
Tilletson and Wm. Chippindale and Tho. Heelis churchwardens. 1759, 
Lester and Pack of London fecit." The other bells contain merely the 
names of the churchwardens for that year of the several parishes that 
contributed towards the cost. 

Many years ago it was customary for the church bells to be rung on 
Royal Oak Day, May 29th, and Gun-powder Plot day, November 5th. 
Indeed within the last half century the custom still existed. November 
5th seems to have been an occasion of great festivity, for in 1744, the 
rates of payment to the ringers being revised, the churchwardens 
resolved that in future they should have " five shillings and no more for 
ringing upon extraordinary days, except the 5th of November, for 
which they are to have seven shillings." The ringing appears to have 
been continued until late in the evening : — 

1749.— Candles on Gunpowder Treason, £0 Os. 6d, 


The present clock was made in 1835. The clock which it replaced 
was of great age. Tn 1769 it appears to have been causing expense : — 

June 18. — To George Brockden, for repairing the clock, £1 15s. 

1772.— May 7.— John Smith's bill, clock face, £3 14s. 

1780. — Dec. 3. — Mr. Prior's bill for mending church clock, and for what he paid 

blacksmith on the occasion, £2 5s. 
1802. — March 7. — Jonathan Barber, for repairing the clock, as per bargain with 

the churchwardens, £2 12s. 6d. 


In 1826, at a meeting of the inhabitants it was resolved that as the 
clock was " so old and out of repair " it was expedient that a new one 
should be purchased at once, the cost not to exceed £100. It was not, 
however, until 1835 that the clock was obtained. The previous year it 
had been resolved " That Titus Bancroft, of Sowerby Bridge, be 
employed to make the new clock on the following terms and conditions : 
— The clock to strike quarters upon the first, third, and fifth bells, and 
the hours upon the fourth and sixth bells, with all necessary appendages 
agreeable to the specifications; to be fully completed within nine 
months, for the sum of one hundred and sixty pounds, to be paid when 
the work is done, and no charge to be made for any extras." There are 
two dials, one on the south and the other on the west side. The dial- 
plate on the south side is circular, and that on the west, which is the 
one formerly fixed on the south side, is octagonal. 

Before passing on to the Clifford tombs, a few miscellaneous notes 
may be given. In the year 1674, records the parish register, "a 
new pulpitt and reading-desk was made in y^ church att the charge of 
the parish," which entry is attested by the signatures of "Francis 
Cattarson, Kobt. Lund, and Will'm Barrett, churchwardens." In 1809 
£28 was paid for a new pulpit, and nearly half that amount for the 
repair of an old one. Up to the year 1826 the churchyard was 
suiTounded by a fence, with the exception only of the portion nearest 
Mill Bridge, which was walled. In that year, however, the wall was 
continued round the whole yard at a cost of from £50 to £60. The 
following year a footpath was constructed alongside of this wall, so that 
the footway which had until then passed through the churchyard 
might be closed. Wrought-iron gates were obtained for the south 
entrance at the same time. In 1830 the piece of burial ground behind 
the church was given by the Earl of Thanet, and the town spent £30 
in enclosing and draining it. In 1831 the bone-house near the vestry 
was removed, and it was resolved that " in future the bones be buried, 
and the wood which may arise from the old graves be burnt." In 1843 
gas was first used in the church. Up to that year service was held in 
the morning and afternoon of Sunday ; henceforth in the morning and 
evening. On the 19th November, 1846, the old cemetery in the 
Eaikes was consecrated by Charles Thomas, Lord Bishop of Eipon. In 
1840 Christ Church was constituted a distinct parish, and in 1855 
Embsay was separated in the same manner, while Bolton Abbey was 
declared a distinct parish in 1864. In June, 1874, a handsome reredos 
was erected in the church by Mrs. Alcock and family, in memory of the 


late Mr. Henry Alcock. The reredos cost about £1,000, and is of Caen 
stone, from a design by Sir Gilbert Scott. 

In 1881, a beautiful lectern was given to the church. It is inscribed 
as follows : — " To the glory of God and in memory of Thomas and Ann 
Mitchell, of Skipton, A.D. 1881." The present custom of electing 
churchwardens of the parish church, viz., the rector and the parishioners 
alternately choosing two out of the three, is according to a decree of 
the Archdeacon made in 1697, and confirmed in 1762. 


Skipton church is remarkably rich in monuments — from stately tomb 
and stained window to mural tablet and humble flag-stone. The 
Clifford tombs stand within the communion rails; a number of most 
elaborate monuments are affixed to piers or to the walls of the 
church, and several of the windows are beautifully stained. As for 
the floor of the building, this is literally paved with gravestones, 
recording the ages and merits of those who have been interred here in 
generations past. 


Skipton parish church is especially interesting to the antiquary on 
account of the magnificent tombs of the Cliffords which it contains. 
Bolton Abbey was originally the place of interment for those of the 
Clifford family who died in this county. After the Dissolution, how- 
ever, the sepulchre was disused, and Skipton church became the burial- 
place. Henry Lord Clifford, the " Shepherd Lord," was the last Clifford 
interred at Bolton, and Henry first Earl of Cumberland was the first 
interred at Skipton. In 1803 Whitaker examined the vault in Skipton 
church, which is beneath the altar. The result of his research will be 
of interest : — '' The original vault, intended only for the first earl and 
his second lady, had undergone two enlargements; and the bodies 
having been deposited in chronological order, first, and immediately 
under his tomb, lay Henry the first earl, whose lead coffin was much 
corroded, and exhibited the skeleton of a short and very stout man, 
with a long head of flaxen hair gathered in a knot behind the skull. 
The coffin had been closely fitted to the body, and proved him to have 
been very corpulent as well as muscular. Next lay the remains of 
Margaret Percy, his second countess, whose cofi&n was still entire. She 
must have been a slender and diminutive woman. The third was ' the 
Lady Eleanor's Grace,' whose coffin was much decayed, and exhibited 


the skeleton (as might be expected in a daughter of Charles Brandon 
and the sister of Henry VIII.) of a tall and large-limbed female. At 
her right hand was Henry, the second earl, a very tall and slender man, 
whose thin envelope of lead really resembled a winding-sheet, and 
folded, like coarse drapery, over the limbs. The head was beaten to 
the left side ; something of the shape of the face might be distinguished, 
and a long prominent nose was very conspicuous. Next lay Francis 
Lord Clifford, a boy. At his right hand was his father George, the 
third earl, whose lead coffin precisely resembled the outer case of an 
Egyptian mummy, with a rude face, and something like female mammse 
cast upon it; as were also the figures and letters G. C. 1605. The 
body was closely wrapped in ten folds of coarse cerecloth, which being 
removed exhibited the face so entire (only turned to copper colour) as 
plainly to resemble his portraits. All his painters, however, had the 
complaisance to omit three large warts upon the left cheek. The coffin 
of Earl Francis, who lay next to his brother, was of the modern shape, 
and alone had had an outer shell of wood, which was covered with 
leather ; the soldering had decayed, and nothing appeared but the ordi- 
nary skeleton of a tall man. This earl had never been embalmed. 
Over him lay another coffin, much decayed, which, I suspect, had con- 
tained the Lady Anne Dacre, his mother. Last lay Henry, the fifth 
earl, in a coffin of the same form with that of his father. Lead not 
allowing of absorption, or a narrow vault of much evaporation, a good 
deal of moisture remained in the coffin, and some hair about the skull- 
Both these coffins had been cut open. Room might have been found 
for another slender body, but the Countess of Pembroke chose to be 
buried at Appleby : partly, perhaps, because her beloved mother was 
interred there, and partly that she might not mingle her ashes with 
rivals and enemies." It will be seen, therefore, that in Skipton church 
have been interred the bodies of five earls, three countesses, and four 
earl's sons, viz., Francis, son of Earl George ; Francis, Charles, and 
Henry, sons of Henry, the last Earl of Cumberland. 

An interesting passage relating to Dr. Whitaker's examination of the 
vault occurs in " The Life of Squire Waterton," by Dr. Hobson, of 
Leeds. It is as follows : — " About the time Dr. Whitaker wrote the 
History of Craven, he and some of his antiquarian friends opened several 
ancient gi'aves at Bolton Abbey and other places. At Skipton they 
peeped into the tomb of Admiral Lord Clifibrd, and, as I have been told 
a curious circumstance connected with it, from one present on the occa- 
sion, viz., the late Mr. G. Walker, of Killingbeck Hall, near Leeds, I 


think it worthy of record. Mr. W. told me that they found the earl, 
who had been embalmed, quite perfect, and dressed in the costume of 
the day, in high-crowned hat, plume, frill, &c. ; but no sooner was he 
exposed to the air than the remains began to shake like a jelly, and in a 
few seconds all gave way ; and this extraordinary sight (bringing one 
back to the days of Queen Elizabeth) collapsed into dust. Mr. W., who 
was a person of great observation, and who was a naturalist, a sportsman, 
and an amateur artist, was very fond at this period of making pedestrian 
tours through the country, and he informed me that after his curious 
introduction to the earl, he visited Chatsworth, and whilst looking 
through the pictures he had the pleasure of putting the housekeeper 
right, for she had got her story wrong about the portraits, and pointed 
out one which she said was this identical Admiral Lord Clifford. Upon 
this he said — ' I must correct you (here pointing to another picture), — 
this is the Admiral, for I saw him only yesterday, and if necessary I 
could swear to him.' And his assertion proved correct." 

To deal now with the tombs themselves. They stand within the com- 
munion rails, and are three in number, but there is also a mural tablet 
close by. The tombs are those of (1) Henry, first Earl of Cumberland, 
and Margaret Percy, his wife ; (2) Francis, son of George Earl of Cum- 
berland; (3) Earl George. The tablet is to the memory of Francis, 
Charles, and Henry, sons of Henry, last Earl of Cumberland. 

In the time of the Civil War, as we have already seen, the church 
suffered greatly at the hands of the Roundheads. During the years of 
the siege of the castle, or the years immediately following, most of the 
brasses upon the two tombs then in existence (for that of George Earl of 
Cumberland was built by the Lady Ann Clifford in 1654) were displaced, 
and the tombs themselves were damaged. Within late years, however, 
five of the original brasses have been found. They were discovered about 
1850 in a house at Thorlby which was undergoing repairs. These brasses 
consist of the figure of the Trinity and the second of the sons on the 
tomb of Earl Hemy, and three shields on the altar tomb. The brasses 
yet missing were replaced by the Duke of Devonshire when he generously 
restored the tombs in 1867, at a cost of £1000. Fortunately, before the 
tombs were spoiled during the Civil War, Dodsworth, the eminent 
antiquary, had copied the inscriptions. The tomb of Earl Henry stands 
to the north of the altar. It is of beautifully polished marble — the slab 
of black, and the tomb of Purbeck marble. In height the tomb is 3 feet 
i inches, in length 8 feet 8 inches, and in width 4 feet 3 inches. The 


panelled sides are richly ornamented with shields, liound the edge of 
the slab runs this inscription : — 

>^ ^f Bour c^ttrife praj? for tt}C soulc of §ir iftcnre ^liffotrb 
Jtnpgl^f ot t^c most noble ovbev of i^c ^avtev §avle of §itmbcr- 
lanb sitmfBtnc ^ovevnot of il^c town anb caslte of Carlisle anb 
'^vesibent of i^e feing's §oundl in ii)C "iiorl^ olso of ^ilargarel 
l^gs njgfe &aug()fcr of git: /aenrp "g'ctrci? feneg^f §axlc of ITori^um- 
betrlanb toi)^ci)e §it: .iiientrp bcparfcb i^gs l^fe tf)e xaeij bapc of 
Jlpril in ti)e gerc of our lorb #o5 ^I§§§§§«tiS on n?^osc 
soulcs gesu J)at»e mercg ^men. 

Upon the slab are figures in brass, representative of Earl Henry and his 
lady. The earl is in armour, with head and hands bare. At one 
side he bears a sword and at the other a dagger. A heavy chain goes 
round his neck, from which a cross is suspended. The earl's feet 
rest upon a greyhound. The countess is habited in a gown, surmounted 
by a mantle. Two tassels hang down from her waist, and upon her 
head is a coronet. As in the case of her husband, the lady's feet rest 
upon a dog. The figures are about three feet in length. Above 
the head and beneath the feet of both the earl and his wife are shields 
with the arms of Clifford and Old Percy. 

At the head of the slab is a stone filled with brasses. The chief 
brasses arc those representa,tive of the family of Henry, the second Earl. 
These extend over nearly the entire width of the slab. At the right 
hand side are the figures of Earl Henry's second countess and three 
daughters, and at the left the eai-1 and two sons ; Whitaker's editor says 
of four daughters and three sons, but this is evidently an error. The 
first of the male figures is Earl Henry, who bears the Clifford chequers, 
impaling his second wife's arms, the Dacre scallops. The second and 
third figures, sons, bear the Clifford chequers, the third differenced by 
an annulet. All three figures are invested in tabards. Above them runs 
a scroll bearing the inscription : — 

§'cta Innitas uxi' Pcus mtscvcre nob'. 

The four female figures are — 1st, the countess, showing the Cliflbrd 
chequers and her own scallops; 2nd, her eldest daughter, displaying 
only the Clifford arms, and the two daughters who died young, and who 
show no arms. Above these figures is a scroll also. It is inscribed : — 

'^aicx be cclis 6c' miserere nob'. 



At the top of the slab and in the centre is a figure of the Trinity, while 
at the four corners are emblems of the Evangelists. At the base of the 
slab is a plate with the following inscription : — 

Here lieth Sib Henet Clifford knight Earle of Cumberland and 
Anne hys wtffe daughter of William lord Dacre of Gillesland 
WHicHE Sir Henry departed this life the eighth daye op Januarie 


This slab was formerly concealed by the larger tablet now in the east 
wall, but in 1844 it fell down and exposed the original slab to view. 
With the exception of the figure of the Trinity and that of the second 
son, all the brasses upon this tomb are modern restorations. 




The plate affixed to the eastern wall of the church bears the following 
inscription : — 

Here lyes, expecting ^ second comeing of ove Lobd & Saviovr Iesvs Christ, ^ 
BODT OF Henry Clifford, First Earle of Cvmberland of yt Family, & Kt op y most 
Noble Order of ^ Garter ; Who by Right of Inheritance from a longe Continewed 
Descent of Avncestors Was Lord Veteripont Baron Clifford Westmorland & Vescy 
Lord of y Honovr of Skipton in Craven, & Hereditary High Sheriffe of the 
Covnty of Westmorland. 

He had by his second wife, Lady Margarett Percy, davghter to y Earle of Nor- 
tvmberland, two sonnes & three Davghters ; His eldest sonne svcceeded him 
in y Earledome*; & his eldest Davghter was first marryed to Iohn Lord 


Henry Cholmely, now Liveing, are descended. 

This Noble Earle dyed in Skipton Castle y 22th day of Aprill, 1542. 

And here lyes alsoe interred in this vavlt this Earles eldest sonne, Henry 
Clifford, second Earle of Cvmberland, & his first wife the Lady 
Elianor Brandon's Grace, by whome hee had one onely davghter that 
lived, y Lady Margarett Clifford, afterwards Covntesse of Darby; 
And by his second wife Anne Dacres (who also lyes here In- 
terred) Hee had his 2 sonnes, George & Francis, svccessive 
Earles of Cvmberland After him; & Lady Frances Clifford, wife 
to Phillip Lord Wharton, & Grandmother to Phillip Lord Wharton Now Liveing, 
He was also by descent Lord Veteri'ont, Baron Clifford, Westmorland & Vescy, 
Lord op ^ Honor of Skipton in Craven, & Hereditary High Sheriffe 
OF Y Covnty of Westmorland, & dyed in Brovgham Castle in that 
Covnty, ^ 8th day op Ianvary, in y yeaee op ove Lord God 1570. 

At the head of the tomb of Earl Henry is an altar-shaped tomb to 
the memory of Francis, son of George Earl of Cumberland. Its 
dimensions are — height, 3 feet 1 inch ; length, 4 feet 1 inch ; width, 2 
feet 1 inch. This Francis was scarcely six years of age at the time of 
his death, which took place in December, 1589. Lady Anne Clifford, 
his sister, says of him — " He was admired by those who knew him for 
his goodness and devotion, even to wonder, considering his years." He 
had a brother, Robert, who was eighteen months his junior. Singularly 
enough, both children died at the age of five years and eight months, 
and between their deaths a period of eighteen months elapsed — the 
exact difference between their ages. Upon the slab of this tomb are 
several brasses, three original. 

* The second son of the first Earl was Sir Ingram Clifford, who married Anne, daugliter 
and sole heiress of Sir Henry Ratcliffe. lie died without issue, and left his property to his 
nephew George, third Earl of Cumberland. 



The brass containing the original inscription was stolen with others, 
and Lady Anne Clifford replaced it with another, now remaining. The 
following is a plan of the tomb : — 


\ 7 


[Plain Brass Plate.] 

Here lyes (expecting y second comeing of ovR 
Lord & Saviovr Iesvs Christ) the dead body op 
Francis Lord Clifford First Child to George 
Clifford 3d Earle of Cvmberland by his bles- 
sed wife Margarett Rvssell Covntesse 
of Cvmberland wch Fra: Lord Clifford 
dyed (where he was borne) in Skipton Castle in 
Craven abovt y eleaventh of December in 1589, 
beinge of y age of 5 yeares and 8 monthes. 






The original inscription upon this tomb ran as follows : — 

^exe Iget^ f^e bobj? of Strands lafe lorb @Itffotrb, elbcst son of 
if)e most puissattf tovb #eorgc eairle of §umbcrlan&, lorb of f^e 
^ottour of gfetpfon in §rat)cn, lorb §lifforb, tovb ^estmcflanb 
anb "gJescp; nji^tc^ d)\\b bcparfcb from f^is life t^e tjiiif^ of 
Pecembetr, 1588, bcittg of f^c ttgc of six gears anb eig^t months. 
Jin infant of ntosf rare lowarbnessc in all (^appearances il)at 
mig^t promise misbome anb magnanimifg. 

^ui tjeniei frucfus ftos foliumque nofanf 

gtemmate nobitior, 
/aenrici mentis nifuit bxxvx canbor in isfo 

"^imbtt cjuo pofuit scanbere mrlus eraf, 
^unc rapfim e ierris fafa innibiosa tulere, 

Jlngtia, sponbettfem magttaque fausfa tibi. 
Picite morfales quae sii spes carnis et inbe 
^ebbere, quob bignum est, optima quaeque Peo. 

It is curious that while in the original inscription the date of this 
Clifford's death is given as December 8th, 1588, in the inscription 
placed upon the tomb by Lady Anne it is given as ' about ' December 
11th, 1589. The latter is probably the correct date. 

The tomb of Earl George stands on the south side of the altar, 
precisely opposite to that of Earl Henry. It is most elaborately 
adorned with armorial bearings. Whitaker remarks — "I much doubt 
whether such an assemblage of noble bearings can be found on the 
tomb of any other Englishman." There are no fewer than seventeen 
richly ornamented shields upon this tomb, which, it may be observed, 
was formerly enclosed within railings. They consist of the following : — 
(1) Clifford and Russell, within the Garter, sm-mounted by an earl's 
coronet; (2) Clifford between Brandon and Dacre; (3) Clifford and 
Percy, within the Garter, a coronet above; (4) Veteripont and Buly; 
(5) Veteripont and Ferrers; (6) Veteripont and Fitz Peirs ; (7) Clifford 
and Veteripont; (8) Clifford and Clare; (9) Quarterly, Clifford and 
Veteripont; (10) Clifford and Beauchamp; (11) Clifford and Roos; 
(12) Clifford and Percy, within the Garter; (13) Clifford and Dacre; 
(14) Clifford and Bromflet (de Vesci); (15) Clifford and St. John of 
Bletsho ; (IG) Clifford and Berkley ; (17) Clifford and NcviU. 

This tomb, the slab of which is 8 feet 4 inches long, and 4 feet 8 
inches wide, was erected by Lady Anne Clifford, and I think that an 
original agi-eement made for its completion at Skipton (now first 
published) will not be without intiarcst. It is entitled " Agree*^ with Jo. 


Ellis for finishinge the Tombe att Skipton, all saue the Tombe-stone," 
and is dated 9th October, 1654. The document runs as follows : — 

" 9o October, 1654. 
" Agreed with John Ellis the day & yeare abovesd for and on the behalfe of the R. 
H. ye Countesse Dowager of Pembroke, &c., That for three pounds Tenne shillings,* 
to be payd him at the finishinge of the worke, He shall fasten the 17 Coates of Armes, 
and cement them wth Alablaster, upon the Tombe at Skipton, made by him for her 
Houoi' father George Earle of Cumberland, and sett upp the blacke marble stone with 
ye Inscription, and well & sufficiently putt into Oyle Colours the Iron Grate about 
the sayd Tombe. And" so finish and compleat all the Sayd Tombe at his owne costs 
& charges, sauinge the Tombestone, wch is to be the cover thereof. 

(Signed) "John Ellis." 

To this may be added another agreement : — 

"Agreemt wth ,To: Ellis for finishinge Ea: George of Cumberland's Tombe in 
Skipton Church. 29 Dec, 1654." 

It runs as follows : — 

"29 Dec, 1654. 
" An Agreement betweene ye R.H. Anne Countss Dowagr of Pembroke & John 
Ellis, stone-cutter, for the finishinge of a Tombe in Skipton Church for her 
Noble father George Ea: of Cumberland. 

" That her laPP shall, at her Costs & Charges, cause to bee brought to the place 
the Great Marble stone, for ye Couer of ye sayd Tombe. 

"That the sd Jo: Ellis shall cutt, polish, and glase the sayd marble stone ; [and 
crest ye same suitable to the worke] and place the same upon the sayd Tombe, as 
itt ought to bee. 

"That he shall putt into Alablaster Colors all the Coats of Armes about the sayd 
Tombe, and afterwards well & sufficiently paynt & gild them. 

" That hee shall allso substantially gUd the Lres of ye Inscription of ye sayd Tombe. 

"That he shall putt in Oyle Colors and paynt the Iron Grates about the sayd 
Tombe, and shall fully and wholy finish and compleat the same. 

"For wch the sd R. H. Countess is to pay him Twenty pounds,* (vizt) Tenne 
Pounds when the sd Worke shall be halfe finished. And ye remayninge Tenne Pounds 
att the finishinge & perfectinge thereof. 

(Signed) "John Ellis." 

I find the following item of expenditure to have been incurred on 
account of this tomb by Thomas Earl of Thanet in 1694 : — 

" Sept. 9. — To John Swainson, for 10 yards of coarse black cloth at Is. per yard, 
for covering and preserving the marble tombstone of George Earl of 
Cumberland, in Skipton Church, and sewing it, £00 10s. 2d." 

* We must bear in mind that this would be a much larger sum if changed to its modern 


Upon a slab affixed to the eastern wall of the church is the following 
inscription : — 

Here lyes, expectinge the second comminge op ovr Lord and Saviovr Iesvs 
Christ, the body of George Clifford, third Earle of Cvmberland, of that 
Family, and Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, who by right of 


Baron Clifford, Westmerland and Vescie, Lord of the Honovr of Skipton in 
Craven, & Hereditary High Shebiffe of Westmerland, and was the last heyre 


Inheritance in Westmerland and in Craven, with the Baronies 


For he left bvt one legitimate childe behind him, his davghter & sole heyre, 
THE Lady Anne Clifford, now Covntesse Dowager of Pembroke, Dorsett & 
Montgomery, who, in memory of her Father, erected this monvment in 1654. 

This noble George Earle of Cvmberland was borne in Brovgham Castle in 
Westmerland, the eight day of Avgvst, in the yeare 1558; and dyed 
penitently in the Dvtchy Hovse by the Savoy, Att London, the 30th day of 
October 1G05 & was bvried in theVavlt here the 13th day of March following. 

Hee was the 17th op his blood Hereditary High Sherippe op Westmerland and 
THE 13th op his blood that was Lord of the Honor of Skipton in Craven and was 


Hee marryed the blessed and virtvovs Lady the Lady Margarett Rvssell 


Which Lady Margarett his wipe (Then Covntesse Dowager op Cvmberland) 
DYED IN Brovgham Castle the 24th day of May, 1616, and lyes bvried in 
Appleby Chvbch. 

The inscription upon the tablet to three of the younger Cliffords, 
which has already been alluded to, and which is fixed on the north 
wall of the chancel, is simply yet very forcibly expressed : — 









a:d: cio: ioc: xxxi. [1G31.] 



These were sons of Henry last Earl of Cumberland, The interment of 
Charles and Henry is thus referred to in the Skipton parish register : — 

"February 21, 1622.— Charles Clifforde, Sonne of the right ho'ble Henry Lorde 
Clifforde, died at Lonndsbrough, and was interred in the tombe at Skipton the one 
and twentieth of the same. 


'August 30, 1622.— Henry e the sonne of the Right Ho'ble Henry e Lo: Clifforde, 
dyed at Londsbrough the 30th, and was interred in the tombe at Skipton the 31st." 

In reference to this tablet Whitaker remarks : — " The last epitaph 
belonging to this great family is conceived in much fewer words and 
better taste than any of the foregoing " — a sentiment many will re-echo. 


Op these there are six, all of modern date. They are nearly all by 
Capronnier, of Brussels. Beginning with the south wall, there is one at 
the eastern end representing the Child Jesus in the arms of aged 
Simeon, with several male and female figures on either side. At the 
foot is the index " Luke ii. 28." The inscription is as follows : — " To 
the glory of God and in affectionate remembrance of Thomas King, of 
this town, who died June 9th, 1867, aged 83 years, and of Ann, his wife, 
who died December 3rd, 1858, aged 74 years; also to five of their sons, 
John, William Sherwood, Thomas, Joseph, and Joseph Sherwood ; this 
window is erected by Sarah King to the beloved memory of her father, 
mother, and brothers." (Brussels, 1873.) 

The east window of the south aisle is also stained. The subjects are 
acts of mercy. The inscription runs : — " To the glory of God, in 
memory of William Marsden, who died on St. Luke's-Eve, 1868, the 
Beloved Physician." (Brussels, 1870.) Dr. Marsden was a son of the 
Rev. T. Marsden, vicar of the parishes of Kildwick and Skipton. For 
forty years he resided in Skipton, where he was greatly esteemed. He 
died at the age of 71 years, and was buried in the Gargrave parish 
churchyard. Dr. Marsden often used to make the remark that in the 
course of his professional career he had followed to the grave about 
forty medical gentlemen of the district. The eastern window is most 
beautifully stained. This is a subscription window ; it was inserted in 
the year 1859. 

The stained east window of the north aisle contains this inscription : — 
" To the glory of God and in loving memory of Thomas Robinson, of 
Skipton, who died November 17th, 18G5, aged 35 years; also of Edward 
Robinson, who died January 24th, 1868, aged 41 years." 


In the north aisle are two stained windows. A brass plate below one 
of them is inscribed : — "To the glory of God and in loving remembrance 
of Martha Maria, relict of the late John Birtwhistle, of Dundeuch and 
Barharrow, this window is erected by her surviving children. She died 
at Cheltenham, Uth May, 1872," 

The other window in the north wall was executed in 1870. Like its 
fellow it is of English make, and is about seven feet high by four feet 
wide. The chief feature of the design is a full length painting of St. 
John, who is surrounded by several smaller figures, represented as 
performing acts of mercy. At the foot of the window is a brass plate, 
upon which is this inscription : — " To the glory of God, and in memory 
of John Birtwhistle, of Dundeuch and Barharrow, this window is erected 
by his widow. He was a justice of the peace, and deputy lieutenant for 
the stewardtry of Kirkcudbright, and died at Cheltenham, Deer. 4th, 


It is impossible to find room for the inscriptions upon the 
numerous tablets which adorn the walls of the church, and therefore I 
mention only the names of those whose memory they perpetuate. 
Upon the south wall are tablets to the memory of Lieut. Joseph Tindal, 
died Jan. 1, 1826, aged 22 years; Jane Brown Alcock, Skipton, Jan. 
2nd, 1829, aged 6 years; William Alcock, Skipton, Nov. 17th, 1819, 
72 years; George Kendall, Halton, June 16, 1786, 68 years; Margaret 
Chippindale, Skipton, April 20, 1817, aged 45 years; John Birtwhistle, 
died December 1st, 1786, aged 75 ; and Janet his wife, died Aug. 28, 
1761, aged 58; and their sons Thomas, William, John, Alexander, 
Richard, Charles, and Robert. Upon brasses afiixed to pillars in the 
north and south aisles are named many of the Alcock and Currer 
families. Upon the north wall are tablets to William Banks, M.A., 
died December 11, 1730, aged 31 years; W. Moorhouse, M.D., June 25, 
1813, aged 81 years, and his wife Margaret, Feb. 10, 1799, aged 68 
years; John Bayley, Oct. 16, 1794, aged 78 years; Alex. Charles 
Birtwhistle, June 1st, 1855 ; Capt. W. A. Birtwhistle, Oct. 14, 1856. 
At the tower end are mural tablets to John Swire, died Nov. 20, 1760, 
aged 48 years ; William John Jackman ; Rev. Saml. Plomer, M.A., Oct. 
17, 1780, aged 58 years, and his wife; Wm. Netherwood, Dec. 9, 1787, 
aged 61 years ; Oglethorpe Wainmau, M.D., April 25th, 1800, aged 49 
years, and Elizabeth Wainmau, Jan, 7, 1820, 60 years, and Eleanor 
Waiuman, Dec. 27, 1825, 77 years; John Bayues, Jan. 3, 1820, aged 



64 years; John Wainman, Sept. 20, 1794, aged 72 years ; his wife, son, 
and daughter; and to Christopher Netherwood, April 19, 1834, aged 75 
years, and his wife and son. There are also tablets to Matthew 
Tillotson, March 8, 1815, aged 71 years; Ann Medcalf, Dec. 14th, 
1840, aged 39 years. 

Among flagstones perhaps the most ancient is one within the chancel. 
Unfortunately portions of the stone were cut away when the heating 
apparatus was placed in the church, and the surface is also very much 
worn. The following is the inscription : in some cases the illegible 
letters are shown in italics : — 

I N 

M E M B Y 



T H 

E W I F i; 


I H N 


W A R T S^ , 


S K I P y iV 


T H 

E S E C N D 

R E SVR R E C ri- 1 




THE 19TH, 16 


There are also stones to the memory of the Rev. Richard Oglesby, 
formerly curate of the church, who died February 18th, 1840, aged 41 
years ; Ellen Holmes, of Skipton, died January 6th, 1799 ; Elizabeth 
Dvneley, January 13th, 1772 ; John Routh, collector of excise, March 
16, 1760; John Bradshaw, of Skipton, October 23, 1797; Robert 
Benson, of Halton, November 15, 1848, 49 years (this is on a brass upon 
the floor); Richard Chamberlain, May 21, 1787, aged 46 ; Elizabeth (his 
wife), February 20, 1792, aged 40; Thomas (March 17, 1789) and 
Frances (April 9, 1768), father and mother of the above Richard; Mary 
Chamberlain, January 7, 1737, aged 47; William Chamberlain, son of 
George and Mary Chamberlain, February 4, 1776; Sarah AVardman, 
February 18, 1741; Elizabeth Chamberlain, September 29, 1732; 
Edmund Benson, of Halton, February 8, 1801 ; Sarah Heelis, of 
Skipton Castle, May, 1800; and John Heelis, March 28, 1801. 

In the churchyard are some old tombstones. Several have Latin 
inscriptions : such has the Longfellow tombstone. By the south-west 


buttress of the tower, indeed partially beneath it, is an ancient 
tombstone. It is supposed that it was removed from its original 
position at the extension of the old Norman church and placed here. 
Near the porch is also a tombstone of ancient date, but it is not 
inscribed in any way. 


Before glancing at the vicars who have at one time and another had 
the cure of souls in Skipton parish, it may be well to refer to the nature 
of the livino-. In Lauton's "Collectio Rerum Ecclesiasticarum de 
Dioecesi Eboracensi" (1840) the following account appears: — "The 
church is valued in Pope Nicholas's first taxation [about 1292] at £30 ; 
in the second at £13 6s. 8d.; and the Vicarage at £8 ; in the King's 
Books the vicarage at £10 12s. 6d., and in the Parhamentary Survey, 
vol. xviii, page 211, it is stated: 'The impropriate Rectory is worth 
about £150 per annum, and the Vicarage £24. Augmented in 1718 
with £200 to meet benefaction of £200 from the Earl of Thanet; in 
1830 with £200 to meet benefaction of £200 from the Dean and 
Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford; and in 1832 with £200 from the 
Parliamentary grant, to meet benefactions of £100 from the Rev. J. 
Pering, the vicar, and £100 from Mrs. Pyncombe's trustees." About 
130 years ago the vicarial tithes of Skipton were extinguished; rectorial 
tithes are now alone collected. The mode adopted was the following : — 
At that time Romille's moor was common-land, and at a meeting of the 
freeholders it was resolved to transfer a portion of this moor-land to the 
vicar, the Rev. Walter Priest, in lieu of his tithes. An Act was 
obtained in due course, and a wealthy inhabitant entered upon a lease 
of the vicar's newly-acquired land at a fabulous rental. Time passed on, 
the lease expired, and with the expiration the value of the land sank to its 
natural level. It is said that the vicar henceforth received not more 
than a sixth or a seventh of the sum at which the land was first let. 
That the whole business was a bit of clever cunning — not to use a stronger 
■y;vord — there can be no doubt. The living was as a consequence very 
materially impoverished. It was probably from this reason that the 
two vicars preceding the Rev. P. C. Kidd held the living of Kildwick in 
addition to that of Skipton. In 1789 the living was worth £140; and 
at the present time its value is returned as £307 gross. 

It wiU not be matter for surprise that I give such meagre information 
regarding the vicars of Skipton, when it is remembered that, excepting 
the registers, there are scarcely any records in connection with the church 


that can throw light upon this subject. It is, indeed, a difficult task to 
dig out from the past names which have long been forgotten. Until 
the Dissolution the vicars of Skipton were the priors or the canons ot 
Bolton Abbey, who were patrons of the benefice. When the priory was 
dissolved, the church was given to the Dean and Canons of Christ 
Church, Oxford, who are the present impropriators. The vicars have 
been : — 

1. — ^^D's N. DE Fangefosse. Installed in 1267. 

2. — D's W. DE LuNECROFT. Installed in 1275. In 1326 a vicarage 
was endowed at Skipton. 

3. — D's Hen. de Erdeslaw. 

4. — D's W. DE Draghton. Installed in 1334. 

5. — Fr. Tho. de Manyngham, Canon de Bolton. Installed in 1342. 

6. — Fr. Lawr, de Wath, Canon. Installed in 1354. 

7. — Fr. T. de Kydalb, Canon de Bolton. Installed in 1369. 

8. — Fr. Tho. Ferror, Canon de Bolton. Installed in 1402. 

9. — Fr. Joh. de Farnehill. Installed in 1415. He became prior of 
Bolton in 1430. 

10. —Fr. Rob. Lupton. Installed in 1430. 

11. — Fr. Tho. Skipton, Canon. 

12. — Fr. Tho. Botson. Installed in 1460. He was for some time 
prior of Bolton. 

13. — Fr. Bob. Law, Canon of Bolton. Installed in 1477. 

14. — Fr. Tho. Pillesworth, Canon. Installed in 1479. 

15. — Fr. Gilb. Mayrdbn, Canon. Installed in 1490. This vicar 
seems to have been remembered in the will (dated September 13th, 1499, 
and proved March 18th, 1503), of Matilda Malham, of Skipton. "I 
bequeth," says she, " my soule unto Almyglity God, our Lady Saynt 
Mary, and all the holy company of heven ; and my body to be buryed 
w't'in the kyrke of Skipton in Craven, negh unto my husbond John 
Malhom, on whose saule Jhesu have mercy. My best beest to my curett 
for my mortuarii. I woll ther be don at Skipton aforsaid solempny for 
the helth of my saule Dirige and Messe. ... I will ther be gyven 
to my curett for to dispence wt me for al manor of tythes or dewtyes 
forgotten or nott payed, dew unto hym in tyme past. And lyk maner 


of wyse I gyfF unto the Prior and covent of Bolton in Craven iijs. iiijd. to 
pray for my saule," &c. 

16. — Fr. Jac. Thorneburgh, Canon. Installed in 1512. 

17. — D's X'tophbr Baran. Installed in 1514. 

18. — Fr. W'm Blackburne, Canon. Installed in 1521. Whitaker 
quotes the following dispensation from Archbishop Cranmer, dated 1534 
(25 Henry VIII.) to this vicar, which, he says, " is not a little curious, 
as it exhibits the first Protestant Primate extolling the merits of the 
monastic life," unless this was the customary language of the office : — 
*' Thomas, &c., dilecto nobis in X'to Wil'mo Blackburne, vicario perp. 
eccl. de Skipton, presb. regularem vitam professo, sal. Meritis devotionis 
tue inducimur ut te special' favoribus prosequamur ; hinc te, quod, ut 
asseris, regularem observantiam juxta divi Augustini regulam in dome 
Prioratus de Boulton professus eras, necnon capellanus nobilis viri d'ni 
Henr. com. Cumbr. existis, a quibusdam censuris eccl. harum serie 
absolvendum fore censuimus, et una cum dicta vicaria unum et sine ilia 
duo alia curata retinere, vel ex causa permutationis dimittere dispensa- 
mus." The dispensation may be translated : — '' Thomas, &c., to our dear 
(friend) in Christ William Blackburne, perpetual vicar of Skipton church, 
&c., greeting : — By the merits of thy devotion we are induced to confer 
on thee special favours : hence, we have deemed that you (as you assert 
you had professed the regular observance in the Prioiy House of Bolton, 
according to the rule of St. Augustine, and are the chaplain of the noble 
Lord Henry Earl of Cumberland) should be freed from any ecclesiastical 
censures ; and we permit you to retain with the said vicarage one, or 
without it two, other curacies, or to dismiss on account of changing." 

19. — Thomas Jollie. He was living in 1549, for his name occurs in 
the foundation-deed of the Skipton Grammar School. 

20. — Richard Gibson. Installed in 1587. In 1581 he was instituted 
to the vicarage of Gisburn, which he vacated in favour of that of Skipton. 
This he exchanged in 1591 for the rectory of Marton. He died 1631. 
The living of Skipton was during his time given to the Dean and Chapter 
of Christ Church, Oxon. Among the Puritan clergy during the first 
years of this vicar's office we read of one John Wilson, ' a licensed 
preacher and fixithful minister at Skipton,' who in 1587 was summoned 
before the Court of High Commission, charged with ' disorders, contempt, 
and disobedience.' Miall in his " History of Congregationalism in York- 
shire," says : — " After a vexatious delay, during which he was bound in 
heavy recognisances, he came before Sandys [Archbishop of York], at 


Bishopsthorpe, for trial. He was accused of having exercised the office 
of the niinistry without warrant. He repUed that he had beeu ordained 
deacon, and had preached by the bishop's own authority. He was further 
charged with having refused the surphce, with omitting some of the 
prayers (especially at the burial of the dead), and with neglecting the 
cross in baptism. He was then imprisoned till he could be brought up 
for another hearing. On this occasion Sandys was violent and brow- 
beating, calling him ' stubborn,' ' an arrogant fool,' ' an arrogant Puritan,* 
and he declared that Wilson should not be liberated till he had publicly 
acknowledged his offences. Wilson was firm and brave, and resolutely 
refused any apology ; he only undertook to preach no more within the 
Archbishop's province. He therefore retired to London, where, instead 
of being more secure, he at once fell under the persecution of Whitgift 
and Aylmer (Bishop of London), and was finally suspended from the 
exercise of his ministry." " It appears," adds Miall, " that another 
person was incarcerated at the same time, charged with holding ' night 
assemblies,' i.e., private meetings for singing, prayer, and hearing God's 
Word. Simultaneously Horrocks [Eev. Alexander], vicar of Kildwick, 
was cited for having allowed Wilson to preach in his church, and was 
imprisoned in York Castle till he should make a public recantation of his 
errors. In the same year, 1587, Giles Wigginton, vicar of Sedbergh, fell 
under the lash of the ecclesiastical law." 

21. — Edward Horseman, A.M. Installed in 1591. 

22. — Bartholomew Wylde. He was installed in 1604. From the 
following entry in the parish register we learn the attitude of this vicar 
towards the Roman Catholics of Skipton, of whom at this time there 
were not many. It is among the burial entries : — " 1609. — 
March 8. — Thomas Goodgion, a recusant and excommunicate, died the 
viiith day. Mr. Wylde refused to burie him." The entry in the register 
of Mr. Wylde's burial is as follows : — " Bartholomew Wylde, clerk, vicar 
of Skipton, was buryed in the channcell the xjth of August, 1621, anno 
lxiij° etatis sue." 

23. — Robert Sutton, A.M. Before his installation to the vicarage of 
Skipton in 1621, he was chaplain of Christ Church, Oxford. He was 
vicar of Skipton more than forty years, as the following burial entry 
shows: — "Feb. 24, 1665. — Robert Sutton, master of arts, formerly 
Chaplain of Christ Church, in that famouse university of Oxon., vicar of 
Skipton, departed this life (being aged 80 yeares and upwards, fforty and 
three of which he was vicar of the sayde place), the 22 of ffebruary, and 


was buiied the 24 day, it being St. Mathias Day, in the chanchell. His 

fFaneral sex'mon was preached by his son, and onely son, Thomas Sutton, 

on this text — 2 Kings, 11-12, — 'Memento mori.' — 'One generation 

passeth and another cometh.' " It was the misfortune of this vicar to 

pass through the troublous years of the Civil War, during several of 

which his church lay practically in ruins. And here just a word upon 

that important period in the ecclesiastical history of Craven. Whitaker 

remarks : — " One circumstance deserves to be remembered. There never 

was a period when the consciences of ecclesiastics were more harassed by 

impositions than in the civil wars of the last century ; yet such was the 

flexibility of principle displayed by the incumbents of this deanery, under 

all their trials, that not a name in the whole number appears in the 

catalogue of sufferers exhibited on the two opposite sides by Calamy and 

Walker. The surplice or the gown, the liturgy or directory, Episcopal, 

Presbyterian, or Congregational government ; a king, a commonwealth, 

or a usurper ; all these changes, and all the contradictory engagements 

which they imposed, were deemed trifling inconveniences in comparison 

of the loss of a benefice." This assertion of Whitaker's is not a just one. 

Not only did the vicar of Skipton, as appears from the extracts from 

letters which are given below, remain aloof from his living after the 

Parliamentarians had attained the ascendency here as elsewhere, but the 

vicar of Carleton, near Skipton, sufiered greatly at the hands of the 

Koyalists for his sympathy with the Parliamentary cause. Writing from 

Menstone, April 8th, 1646, to Lord Fairfax, Charles Fairfax says : — "In 

the miserable want of a minister at Skipton (Lord, make us most sensible 

of our greatest wants), I had often intreated Mr. Price, of Carleton (the 

best in these parts), to supply the cure." This Fairfax, who was a 

lawyer, was at the time engaged in arranging the affairs of the Chffbrds 

— holding courts and the like. Of the same Rev. Edward Price, who, it 

should be noted, held the living of Carleton from 1638 to 1674, Charles 

Fairfax writes again from York, August 29th, 1646, to Lord Fairfax : — 

" I have to beg your lordship's directions to Mr. Price, minister at 

Carleton-in-Craven, how he may steer his course for reparation of his 

losses, and augmentation of means. A constant preacher and aff'ectionate 

to the Parliament, which occasions his sufferings from the garrison of 

Skipton, of which if your lordship had time he would make a woful 

relation." I have not been able to ascertain the result of this petition. 

The extracts given prove, however, that there was at any rate 

some constancy, some conscientiousness, in those Craven ecclesiastics whom 

Whitaker rails at with characteristic severity. Mr. Sutton was father of 

three daughters, born 1632-7, who in 1718 were among the pensioners of 


Thomas Earl of Thanet, who in that year ordered the following 
payment : — 

"The three daughters of Mr. Sutton, formerly vicar of Skipton, one of them bed- 
rid, and other very helpless, all very poor, £5." 

Among Hopkinson's Topographical MSS. in the library at Eshton Hall is 
a record of the " Tenths and Subsidyes payd by the clergye in Yorkshire 
in Anno 4to Caroli primi regis" (1629) and the entry occurs : — "Robert 
Sutton, vicar, Skipton, 8s. Id. tenth." The vicar of Gargrave, the Rev. 
Arthur Summerscales, paid as tenth £1 5s. 4d., and as subsidy £1 2s. Od., 
and the ' vicar of Elslack/ the Rev. R. Hodgson, 15s. 4d. as tenth. 

24. — Thomas Sutton, A.M. Installed in 1665. He was son of the 
last-named vicar, during whose later years he ofl&ciated as lecturer. 
Upon his father's death he succeeded at once to the vicarage, and in 1674 
to the vicarage of Carletou also. He continued vicar of Skipton eighteen 
years, and is said to have been " the best of preachers, and a very peace- 
able good man." I suspect, however, he was not very tolerant to the 
new sect which was spreading so rapidly during the years of his vicarship 
— I mean the Quakers. He has the following entry in the parish 
register : — " Febiniary 5, 1666, Jonathan, the son of John Stott, of 
Skipton, Quaker, christened by I knowe not whom, and buried as they 
pleased at Bradley, in Kildwick parish." Indeed I find that this vicar 
several times rather bitterly persecuted Skipton Friends for non-payment 
of tithes. In 1671 he made upon the John Stott mentioned above a 
demand " for sacramental wine, marrying him, baptising his children, 
and churching his wife." Stott repudiated any liability whatever, denying 
that the priest had performed any of these offices. Nevertheless, 
the lie was given to the Quaker, and the Rev. Mr. Sutton obtained goods 
to the value of £1 16s. 8d. A year before his death the same vicar 
indicted several other Quaker parishioners for absence from church, and 
had them imprisoned some months in York Castle. Altogether the Rev. 
Robert Sutton seems hardly to have been the " peaceable good man" that 
the parish register says he was. He was buried September 25th, 1683. 

25.— Timothy Farrand. Installed in 1683. In 1680 Mr. Farrand 
was minister at Bolton, but he obtained the living of Skipton on the 
death of the Rev. Thomas Sutton. In addition to being vicar of Skipton 
he was master of the Grammar School — a position he would be glad no 
doubt to occupy, for his benefice did not then yield anything like its 
present value, Mr. Farrand's widow, indeed, became very reduced in 
circumstances some time after his death. In 1718 she was in receipt of 


a pension from the Earl of Thanet. Mr. Farrand was buried November 
12th, 1685. 

26. — George Holroid, A.M. Installed in 1686. He continued vicar 
until 1704, when he resigned, and was followed by the Rev. R, Mitton. 
Mr. Holroid died in January, 1713, and on the 18tli of that month was 
buried at Skipton. In 1694 the money charity bestowed by Thomas, 
Earl of Thanet, upon the poor of Skipton township amounted to £16 14s. 
6d, A receipt of this amount is acknowledged, I notice, by " Geo. 
Holroid, vicar ; Jno, Corke and Tho. Whittaker, churchwardens ; George 
Lawe and Will. Taylor, overseers." The gifts vai'ied in amount from Is. 
to 5s., and the recipients numbered 162. 

27. — Roger Mitton. Installed in 1705. He was vicar of Kild wick 
1697 to 1705, when he resigned, and was followed by the Rev. John 
Topham. He retained the vicarship of Skipton until June, 1740, when 
he died. 

28. — Jeremiah Harrison, A.M. Installed in 1740. He resigned the 
living in 1748, and died probably in 1763. 

29. — Walter Priest, A.M. Installed in 1748. It was during this 
minister's vicarship that the present peal of bells was cast. This was in 
1759. His curate was the Rev. Samuel Plomer, M.A. Two interesting 
entries occur in a township account book relative to Sunday observance 
during Mr. Priest's vicarship : — 

"Jan. 18, 1761. — For stilling the rabble about playing on the Sabbath-day, by the 
ord. of tho R. Mr. Plomer, 6d. 

" May 31. — For going to settle a number of persons for playing upon the Sabbath- 
day ; by order of Mr. Priest, M." 

The tithe question began to excite unfriendly feelings between vicar and 
parishioners during the time Mr. Priest was vicar, and an attempt was 
made to settle the disputes by making over to Mr. Priest a portion of the 
common-land on Romillc's Moor. I come across reference to an — 

" Indenture of bargain and sale enrolled in the High Court of Chancery bearing date 
the 8th day of December, which was in the year of Our Lord 1757, being of four parts, 
and made between tho Right Hon'ble Sackville Earl of Thanet, Lord of the Manor of 
Skipton-in-Craven, in tho county of York, of the first part ; the Right Hon'ble Dorothy 
Countess Dowager of Burlington, George Fox Lane, Stephen Tempest, Samuel Swii-e, 
and Stephen Walter Tempest, Esquires, freeholders \vdthin the said township of 
Skipton, of the second part ; the Most Reverend Father in God John, by Divine Pro- 
vidence Lord Archbishop of York, and the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church 
of Christ in Oxford, of the third part ; and the Revd. Walter Priest, vicar of Skipton, 
since deceased, of the fourth part;" which, "after reciting that divers disputes 
arisen between the said vicar and the said Earl and freeholders touching his demand 


for tythe of hay and tythe herbage for all such land in the said township of Skipton 
which paid no modus in lieu thereof, or was otherwise exempt from paying the same," 
shows " that for putting an end to the said disputes the said Walter Priest by his pro- 
posal in MTiting dated the 23rd day of May, 1757, did on behalf of himself and his 
successors by and with the consent of the said John Lord Archbishoj^, and the said 
Dean and Chapter, agree to accept and take as a composition for tythe hay and herbage 
for all the said land in the township of Skipton which iDaid no modus in lieu thereof or 
was otherwise exempt from such tythe, all that parcel of waste ground hereinafter 
mentioned ["Short Bank"], to which proposal the said Earl and freeholders did 
consent," &c. 

— The agreement was confirmed 8th December, 1757, and ratified by 
indenture bearing date 11th April, 1771, during the time of the Rev. J. 
Parry, Mx-. Priest was vicar just twenty years. He died December 
13th, 1768. 

30. — Daniel Poate, A.M. Installed in 1769. He was vicar but two 
years, for he died in 1771. 

31. — John Parry, A.M. Installed in 1771. He died in February, 


32. — EiCHARD HiNDE, B.D. Installed in 1778. His institution as 
vicar is referred to in the parish register : — " Richard Hind, B.D., 
inducted into the vicarage of Skipton on the eighth day of August, 1778, 
by the Rev. Mr. Plomer, master of the Grammar School in Skipton." 
He retained the living until February, 1790. 

33. — Thomas Marsden, A.M. Installed in 1790. He was also vicar 
of Kildwick from June 12th, 1790, being succeeded in that living by the 
succeeding vicar of Skipton. He resided at Kildwick and had a curate 
at Skipton. The late Dr. William Marsden, of Skipton, to whose memory 
there is a stained glass window in Skipton church, was one of his sons. 
The Rev. T. Marsden was extremely genial and therefore extremely 
popular. It was related by the son mentioned above that he went to 
Embsay annually at the feast-time to arrange with the farmers about 
tithe moduses. On these occasions he would enter with spirit into the 
sports and feats of strength in which his parishioners there engaged. 
At quoiting and throwing the bar he had no compeer, but it is said there 
was one stout countryman who was able invariably to throiv him in 
the ring. This example of " muscular Christianity" brings to one's mind 
another — that of the late Rev, J. Alcock, B.A., of Burnsall. As Mr, 
Alcock w^as one Sunday going to afternoon service he came across a 
number of boys playing at football. With a solemn shake of the head he 
rebuked them, " This is very wrong : you are breaking the Sabbath 1" 
The remonstrance fell unheeded, and the next moment the ball rolled to 


Mr. Alcock's feet. He gave it a tremendous kick, sending it high into 
the air. " Thafs the way to play at football !" he said to the ring of 
admiring athletes, and then amidst their universal praise he proceeded 
upon his way to church. The Rev. T. Marsden died in 1806, and was 
interred at Kildwick church. There is there a memorial window, a 
plate on the ledge of which bears the following inscription : — " This 
window was erected in affectionate remembrance of the late Revd. 
Thomas Marsden, formerly vicar of Kildwick and Skipton, Elizabeth his 
wife, and Thomas their eldest son, by their surviving children, William 
and Maria Sarah, 1854." It is a three-light window, and is near the 
door in the south wall. 

34. — John Peking, A.M. He was instituted to the vicarage of Kild- 
wick 26th April, 1806, and to that of Skipton 12th May of the same 
year. He was the last ' pluralist' vicar. Mr. Pering came into Craven 
from Devonshire — I believe from Exeter. He lived to see his 78th year, 
but was never married. He resided at Kildwick, and did not preach very 
frequently at Skipton, where he had a curate. Both at Kildwick and 
Skipton there were then two services on Sunday, morning and aftei-noon. 
Mr. Pering laboured with much acceptance for 37 years in this district. 
By rich and poor he was alike esteemed : by the former for his erudition 
and genial temperament, by the latter for his sympathetic disposition and 
unbounded liberality. Possessed of private means, he was able to dis- 
pense a large amount in charity ; indeed, it is said that his yearly 
benefactions often consumed nearly the whole of his stipend. It is not 
to be wondered at that one who gave away so indiscriminately should 
frequently be imposed upon. That this was the case to an extensive 
degree is beyond doubt. It is related that Mr. Pering's tenant at one 
time of the moor-land adjoining the Baths — I forbear to individualise — 
when he waited upon him with the rent, invariably appeared in a suit of 
shabby, tattered clothes. It is said, indeed, that these garments did 
service on rent-days long after they had been discarded for ordinary 
wear. The motive is obvious. The ingenious tenant wished his charit- 
able landlord at least to believe that there was no call for advanced rent, 
even though he might not expect an abatement. At last, however, Mr. 
Pering got tired of this annual appearance of the self-same rags and 
tatters, and he wrote to his solicitor, the late Mr. H. Alcock, requesting 

him to commission a Skipton tailor (Mr. C ), now deceased, to 

measure his unfortunate tenant for a suit of clothes ; " only," ho added, 
" tell him that it is on condition that he does not come to me again in 
his rags." Our friend had been " found out." At Mr. Pering's death 


which occurred April 30th, 1843, many of his old dependents and pen 
sioners became the recipients of handsome benefactions. Mr. Pering's 
body was buried in Kildwick church, within the communion rails, where 
a stone, inscribed with his age, refers the observer to a marble tablet on 
the opposite wall for a record of his character. This tablet bears the 
following inscription ; — " Sacred to the memory of the Revd. John 
Pering, M.A., late Student of Christ Church, Oxford, vicar of Kildwick 
and Skipton, died April 30th, 1843. In his estimable character all those 
qualities were combined which distinguish a Man and elevate a Christian, 
in whom learning was adorned by humility, benevolence by modesty, and 
piety by a life of self-devotion to his God. For 37 years he faithfully 
discharged the arduous duties of this extensive Parish, and in the 78th 
year of his age he calmly resigned his life to Him who gave it. His two 
sisters, deeply sensible of their irreparable loss, have caused this tablet to 
be erected to his memory, as a memorial of his worth and their affection. 
* Well done, thou good and faithful servant.' " Mr. Pering was succeeded 
at Kildwick by the Rev. J. T. C. Fawcett, M.A. ; and at Skipton by 
the present rector. 

35. — Philip Chabert Kidd, A.M. He is the first rector of the parish. 
He was installed in 1843, and nows holds the living. Mr. Kidd is 
the youngest son of the late Rev. Thomas Kidd, M.A., rector of Croxton, 
and vicar of Eltisley, Cambridgeshire, who was a great Greek scholar, 
and a friend of Person and Dr. Parr, being editor of Person's Tracts, 
Dawesii Miscellanea Critica (first edition 1817, second 1827), and other 
works. Mr. Kidd was born January 28th, 1818, at Croxton. He was 
educated at Edward VI. 's Grammar School, Norwich, and at Christ 
Church, Oxford, which he entered in 1837. Here he remained several 
years, during the last eighteen months serving the curacy of Cowley. 
In 1843 Mr. Kidd came to Skipton, being the first resident vicar here for 
upwards of fifty years. The Rev. J. Pering and the Rev. T. Marsden, his 
immediate predecessors, both resided at Kildwick, and Skipton was 
served by a curate. The eight-and-thirty years of Mr. Kidd's residence 
in Skipton have witnessed the carrying out of many important changes 
in relation to the church. Gas has been introduced into the building. 
The restoration of the church has also been eff"ected during Mr. Kidd's 
vicarship. Mr. Kidd married Sarah, younger daughter of the late Mr. 
Henry Alcock, attorney, of Skipton, and Catherine, his wife. The old 
Vicarage, it should be observed, occupied the site of the present Town 
Hall, but upon the erection of that building it was demolished, and what 
is now known as the Rectory was built in its stead. 



Some of the entries in the registers ai"e so interesting and curious, that 
they may properly be given : — 

1601. — April 15, was bapt. Marie, the daughter of Wm. Farrand, of Carleton, 
the younger. 

This was the family who resided in Carleton Hall, now a ruin. 

1613. — October 7th. — Elizabeth Clifforde, daughter to the right ho'ble Henrie 
lord Clifforde, was borne in Skipton Castell the eighteenth day of September, 
1613, and was baptized in the p'ish church of Skipton the seaventh daye of 
October, the Lord Thomas Haworth Erie of Sussex beinge godfather, the Lord 
Philip Wharton his deputie, the Countess of Darbye and the Ladie Wotton 
godmothers, their deputies the La: Margret Wentworth and her sister the 
Ladie francis Clifforde. 

September, 1615. — The seaventh day of September, 1615, were ma'yed Sr Geruais 
Clifton, of Clifton, in the countie of Nothingam, Knight and Barronett, and the 
R. Ho'ble Ladye ffrancis Clifford, daughter to the R. Ho. fifrancis Earle of 

Gyven to the schollers when Tho. Tomlinson dyed viic^., to the ringers xvis, iiic^., 
in bread and ale and their dinn: vid a man. 

Baptisms : — 

1618. — Anna, the daughter of John Squire, vulgaritur John Swyer, of Skipton, 
August 10th, 1620. — Charles, the Sonne of the Right Honourable Henrie Lorde 

Clifforde, of Skipton Castle. 
July 3, 1626. — Frances, the daughter of the Right Honorable Henrye Lord 

Clifford, of Skipton Castle, 

Among burial entries : — 

Dec, 19, 1618. — John Jackson, a taylor, of Leedes, was wounded at Skipton, and 
there dyed and was biu-ied, after the coroner had satt on him. 

Poor fellow ! Among noteworthy entries, next in order of date 
appear two relating to the burial of Charles and Henry, sous of the last 
Earl of Cumberland. These have already been given, 

December 7, 1623. — A man w'ch was drownd at Engaye [Inga] brigg. 

1627. — Upon the 22 of October, 1627, the reverent father in God John lord bishop 

of Man preached at Skipton church in the aforenoone, and his sonne in the 

Jany. 3, 1632. — Ann Goodgion, of Skiptonn, who in her lifetime had been midewife 

to nine hundred and 20 children. 

Often the qualities of deceased persons are recorded : — 

October 7, 1635. — Thomas Mitchell, of Skipton, the best beadle. 

November 30, 1635. — George Carter, a younge boy that came to learneat Skipton. 

June 29, 1638. — Thomas Cundray, the famous shoonuiker, of Skiptonn, 

February 23, 1643.— Mr. Chr. Bu-kett, vicker of Long Preston. 

May 13, 1643. — The third of this month was intcrcd in tlie valte in Skipton Church 

the lady Francis Clifford, daughter to tho right honnorablo Henry Earle of 



December 31, 1644.— Mr. John Rogers, minister of the word of God. 

November 12, 1G49. — A younge youth murthered on the moore. 

January 14, 1G51.— William Millner, of Hallton, beeing dround in Ellerbeck, was 

not founde till six week after. 
February 7, 1655.— Roger Wardman, of Skibden, who was found dead in the horse 

coppice, haveing received a wound in his bodie by falling uppon his owne 

pikestaff e. 
December 22, 1657.— Ann Inman, of Emsaye, an old mayd. 

September 19, 1660.— Robert Wilkinson, a foote souldier under Captaine Farefax. 
June 9, 1661.— Robert, the sonne of Thomas Watkinson, of Bolton, who wasslaine 

be riding of an horse on Trinity Eve. 
November 5, 1665.— Thomas Goodgion, of SnegiU, a very honest man. 
June 7, 1667. — WUliam Browne, of Thorneton Par'sh ; he was found dead in ye 

laine as wee goe to Lower Carleton Brige, his horse and a loade of malt lying 

upon him. 
February 7, 1669.— Jennett, ye wife of Christopher Wattson, of Gargrave, who 

did fall downe dead as shee was goeing from ye markett. 
June 22, 1673.— Thomas ye sonne of Tho. Sutton, vicar of Skipton. ' Jehoua 

dedit, et Jehoua recepit ; sit nomen Jehoua benedictum !' 

It was customary at one time to introduce quotations of this sort in 
notable entries. 

March 29, 1674.— John Smith, of Skipton, who was lost in this great snow of 

Eastby moore. 
April 20, 1678.— Edward Currer, of Skibden, a true laboring man. 
January 17, 1679.— George Heellis, of Skipton, who was kild with a gunn. 

The following baptismal entries are interesting : — 

1664.— Nov. 27.— William the sonne of William Goodgion, of Skipton, who was the 

seventh son that gave boote for ye king's evil. 
1(565.- October the 18th, being St. Luk's day, Ellener, the daughter of Mr. Shefield 

Clapham, was baptized— godfather Sr. Wm. Craven, godm'r Mrs. Elliner 


Other burial entries are : — 

October 9, 1696.— Peter Rawley, a soldier slain by duelling. 

October 25, 1697.— Thomas Jolly, of Eastby, who was found in his house after he 

was dead a week. 
Feb. 13, 1708.— Richard, son of Richard Pearson, deed, and Elizabeth, his wife, of 

Skipton, who coming on ye 4th from Kighley Markett, fell from his horse, in 

wh. fall he reed, a bruise on his head, and having languish'd till ye 11th then 

dyed of ye same. 
Feb. 26. — Margaret Goodgion, widow of Henry Goodgion, late of Skipton. She 

was 92 years old and for ... years last past was governesse or mother of ye 

widows at Beamsley Hospital, hi which place she behav'd herself with much 

prudence and discretion. 
March 20, 1712.— William Demain, of Crookrise, a poor pensioner of ye good Ear] 

of Thanett. 

This was Earl Thomas. 


Feb. 4, 1715.— George, son of Thomas Stott, of Hough, in the township of Eastby, 

who (nine years old) was killd by ye fall of a barn on ye 1st instant, wh. was 

a terrible storm. 
May 12, 1712. — Robert Tanner, an old decay'd Oliverian officer. 
February 14, 1777. — Mrs Ann Heelis, a maden lady who left her estate and effects 

to Robt. Dyneley and others from a numerous train of near relations to the 

amount of 4000 pounds, Halton. 

In the entries of more recent years, there is nothing of interest. The 
chapter is closed with extracts from old churchwardens' account-books : — 

1765.— Sept, 29.— Visitation dinner, £4 16s. 6d. 

The visitation was a high-day in Skipton. The churchwardens had 
then a dinner at the expense of the parish. 

Sept. 29.— Treating Mr. Baynes and Mr. Dehanc when they preached, 6s. 

It sounds rather curious to speak of " treating" clergymen. The Rev. 
John Dehane was vicar of Kildwick from 1734 to 1790. 

1766.— May 18.— To Welbury Holgate, 3 foxheads, 3s, 

The premium was Is. a head, and at this price a great number were 
brought yearly. In 1771 there is the note, " No fFoxes in future to be p'd 
for unless bro't to Skipton." In 1804 it was resolved, as the foxes had 
become scarce, "that half-a-crown shall be allowed in future for fox 

1766.— July 20.— For a master of arts' silk hood for the Rev. Mr. Priest, vicar, £1 16s. 
1769.— Sept. 17.— Paid for visitation dinner, which was at Dolly Dixon's, 22nd 
July last, £3 3s. Od. Ringer's ale, 5s. The ringers' bUl, in which 14s. is 
charged for ringing at the Visitation, which shall never be paid more nem. 
con. at this meeting, £3 7s. Gd, 
1770.— June 16.— Paid for treating clergymen at Black Horse, 16s. lid. 
1772.— July 6.— On Monday at a meeting of the inhabitants of the parish paying 
scot and bearing lot vidthin the same, Sylvester Heelis, yeoman, was elected 
parish clerk. 
1801.— Dec, 5,— It is ordered at this vestry meeting that the expense to be in 

future allowed for the Visitation dinner shall not exceed 5s. each. 
1806.— Dec. 7.— Richard Ellison, for thatching clerk school, £2 7s. 6d. 
1807.— March 5.-2 fomarts, Peter Sheldin, Sd. 

1810.— Sept. 2.— John Kay, for leading sods for the clerk's school, 12s. 
Nov. 2, 1817.— A notice was published in church calling a meeting of tjie principal 
inhabitants of the parish particularly " to attend in the vestry immediately after this 
evening's service to determine what steps are to be adopted for the purpose of bringing 
to justice such person or persons who have wantonly demolished and broken down 
the pillars at the church gates, and committed other depredations in this town last 

It was unanimously resolved at this meeting that " hand bills shall be 
published, and a reward of twenty guineas be offered to be paid to any 



person or persons who will give information of the offender or offenderSj 
so as to lead to a conviction." 

Memorandum. — The present year, 1818, on account of the many wonders exhibited 
in the course of it, has been denominated annus mirabilis. The fact recorded below 
will testify to posterity that it is not undeserving of the appellation. On Wednesday 
last, the second day of Deer., Thomas Ellison, labourer, mowed in this churchyard 
a quantity of fine fresh grass not less than ten stone weight. This grass had sprung 
up since the beginning of Novr., as he had mown it all in the latter end of October 
last. The day before, viz., Tuesday, the 1st of Deer., the thermometer stood at 
59 in the open air, and the fields were then and are now covered with finer verdure 
than they usually possess in the beginning of May. — Dated this 5th day of December, 
1818.— Robert Thomlinson, curate of Skipton, 



URTNG the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth 
century, Skipton rapidly increased in size and in com- 
mercial importance. Its market charters had at least 
one addition, and it is apparent that its trade altogether 

received a strong impetus. Several topographical notices of this period 

are interesting. 

Harrison, in his "Description of Britain" (1577) favours Skipton with 
but one incidental allusion. Speaking of the river Aire, he says — " The 
Air or Aitc riseth ovit of a lake or tarne south of Darnbrooke, wherein 
(as I heare) is none other fish but red trowt and perch. Leland saith it 
riseth neere unto Orton, in Craven, wherfore the ods is but litle. It 
goeth therefore from thence to Mawlam, Hanlith, Kirbie Moldale, Calton 
hall, Areton, and so sowth till it come almost to Gargrave, there crossing 
the Otterburne water on the west, and the Winterburne on the north, 
which at Flasbie receiveth a rill from Helton, as I heare. Being past 
Gargrave our Air goeth on to Eshton Elsewood, and so forth on, first 
receiving a brooke from south-west (whereof one branch commeth by 
Marton ; the other by Thorneton, which meete about Broughton), then 
another from north-east, that runneth by Skipton Castell. After this 
confluence it hasteth ... to Newbiggin, Bradleie, and Kildwick," 
&c. Camden, who wrote in 158G, has a more extended notice of 
Skipton and the Clifford family. His opinion of the town is a very 
favourable one : — " The town is pretty handsome, considering the 
manner of building in these mountainous parts, and is secured by a very 
beautiful and strong Castle, built by Robert de Rumeley, by whose 


posterity it came to be the inheritcauce of the Earls of Albemarle. But 
being afterwards escheated (as the Lawyers term it) to the Crown, 
Edward the second gave it (with other large possessions hereabouts) in 
exchange to Robert de Clifford, ancestor to the Earls of Cumberland, for 
some lands of his in the Marches of Wales." Drayton, in his PolyolUon, 
discourses in verse upon the beauties of Craven. He says :— 

" Now speak I of a Flood who thinks there's none should dare 
Once to compare with her, suppos'd by her descent, 
The darling Davighter born of lofty Penigent, 
Who from her Father's foot by Skipton down doth scud." 

During the time of George and Francis, the third and fourth Earls of 
Cumberland, the former of whom died in 1605, and the latter in 1641, 
a great number of freehold and leasehold tenancies were created, and 
Skipton appears to have increased rapidly during the first years of the 
seventeenth century. As proof of this may be mentioned the fact that 
while during the year 1599 but twenty-one baptisms and nineteen burials 
are recorded for Skipton in the parish register, in 1620 there are thirty- 
seven baptisms and twenty-seven burials. Had the successors of these 
Earls granted freeholds as freely as they did, there is no doubt that 
Skipton would, both in point of population and of commerce, have been 
a place of far greater importance than it is. But the vesting of large 
property in but few hands has had a natural result. 

A document among the Castle Evidences relates to the impoverish- 
ment of the Clifford estates by Earl George, and it is well worth a 
place here : — 

"The right honorable George Earle of Cumberland by his last will and Testament 
did give, grant, and bequeath to Sr ffrancis Clififord his brother. Knight, and Henry 
his Sonne, duringe their lives naturall, and the longer lives of them : All his castles, 
Manners, fforests, Parkes, messuages, Tenements, land and Hereditaments, together 
with all Royalties and Signiories therunto belonginge, scituat and beinge within the 
Counties of Yorke, Westmorland, and Cumberland, and likewise the Balivwicke or 
Sherifwicke of "Westmorland, To haue and to hold the said castles, mannors, and 
hereditaments aboue recited unto the said Sr ffrancis Clifford, knight, and Henry his 
Sonne, ut sup^-a, and after their decease then to the heires males of then? or either of 
their bodies lawfully begotten, or to be begotten, and after their decease then to the 1, 
2, 3, and successiuelie to ye tenth heire male of their bodies lawfully begotten or to be 
begotten, respectiuely as they shal be in senioritie : And for defalt of such issue male, 
the said Castles, mannors, and hereditaments shall discend and come to ye Right 
Honorable Lady Anne, Countesse of Pemb: and her heires for euer, beinge sole 
daughter and heire to the said George Earle of Cumberland. 

" Att the tune of the said Earle his deathe the estate was vallued to be worth eight 
thousand pounds p. annum ouer and aboue casualties, but now it is decaied, for a 


great part thereof is sold or leased by the late Earle ffrancis and his sonne ut 
sequitur : 

1. The Mannor of Silsden is granted by lease for yeeres or liues and part thereof 
is sold to diuerse persons ; the ancient Rents and Royalties onely reserued. 
The said Mannor doth anciently belonge unto Skipton Castle. 

2. The fforest of Lancksterdaile is granted by lease or by some other tenure, ye 
ancient rent and Royalties reserued. The said fforest, upon ye Attenture of 
Henry Earle of Northumberland, was granted by Kinge Henry ye 8th to 
Hem-y Earle of Cumberland and his heires in fee farme, in or about the time 
when ye saide Earle of Cumberland did marrie the daughter of the most 
famous and renowned Charles Brandon, Ducke of Suflolke. 

3. The mannors of Rulston, ThreshfeUd, Crakie, Linton, and diuers other Lands 
wch did belonge to Norton in Crauen, are sold or granted by lease, the ancient 
rent and Royalties reserued. The said mannors were granted in or about the 
13th of the reign of Elizabeth to George Earl of Cumberland and his heires for 
ever after the Attenture of the said Norton. 

4. The mannors, lands, and hereditaments scituat upon the riuers of Eske and 
Leauon and the fforest of NichoU and Bowcastle-dale in Cumberland are 
absolutly soulde. The said mannors and fforest wth Bowcastle-dale was 
granted by Kinge James in ye first years of his reigne to ye said Earle of 
Cumberland and his heires for euer in fee farme." 

In addition to the foregoing lands many dwellings were leased or sold 
in Skipton. I find further (though Whi taker seems not to notice this) 
that this same spendthrift Earl George, " by an indenture tripertite 
beareing date the Twentieth day of December in the fifortieth yeare of 
the Raigne of Queeue Elizabeth (1598) made betweene the right honnor- 
able Earle and Dame Anne Clifibrd, daughter and heire apparant of the 
said Earle of the first partie, and ffrancis Clifford, brother of the said 
Earle, of the second partie, and Sir William Ingleby, knight, then by the 
name of William Ingleby, of Ripley, Esquire, Lawi'ance Lister, of 
Thornton, in the County of Yorke, Esquier, and William fferrand, of 
Carleton in Craven, in the said county of Yorke, gentleman, of the thii'd 
partie, .... [did] demyse, grante and to farme lett unto them 
the said William Ingleby, Lawrance Lister, and William fifeiTand, their 
executors and assignes, all that the Castell, honnor, mannor, burrowe, 
and towne of Skipton in Craven w'thin the county of Yorke, and alsoe all 
singuler the mannors, lordshipps, messuages, howses, barnes, edifyces, 
buildeings, gardens, orchards, lands, tenements, meadowes, pastures, 
jfFeedeing, parkcs, wood, \inderwoodd, tythcing, fishe pounds, comous, 
waste grounds, rentes, reuercons, services, advowsons, ffranchises, 
liberties, and viledges, proflfitts, comodities, emoluments, easments, and 
hereditaments of the said Earle's whatsoever, w'th the appurtenances 
scytuate, lyeing, and being in the seuerall towues, parishes, hamletts, 


and fields of Skipton, Sillesden, Gilgrange, Holden, Barden, Sturton, 
Thorleby, Crookerishe, Embsay, Eastby, Skibden, Malhame, Malham 
Moore, Halton, Sutton, Careleton, Broughton, and Ulcotes, or in any of 

them, in the said county of Yorke, to have and to holde 

from the feast of St. John Babtist, next after the date of the said 
indenture unto the full end and terme of one hundreth and forty yeares 
then next followeing." * 

The Earl, however, reserved to himself the right to put an end to the 
lease at any time upon certain conditions, and by indenture dated 12th 
October, 1605, advantage was taken of this reservation. The William 
Ferrand mentioned above, the builder of Carleton Hall, is referred to at 
the close of this chapter. Of Sir William Ingleby, it may be noted 
that in 1609 he is shown by the Household Accounts to have been 
on a visit to the Earl of Cumberland at Skipton Castle. 

Evidently Earl George was in " low water" at this time, for we find 
him applying, the year before the demise of the castle, for the governor- 
ship of the Isle of Wight. He writes thus : — 

" To my very good Lo. the Lo. Tresorer of Ingland. 
" My Good Lo. ,— ^6 April, 1597. 

" As ever I have found your lo. virillyng to dooe me kindnes, soe I besiche you 
(nowe in the tyme when muche it may pleasure me boothe in my reputation and estate) 
to geve me your best furtherance. I here hir mai. [majesty] will bestowe the He of 
Wyght upon sum suche as shall ther be resident. To w'ch condicion willyngly I 
woulde, as is fittyng, tye myself ; not w'th such eumerrs to sea- journeys as heretofore 
have caried mee ; but, by just discorage, setell myselfe to what shall neither gett env 
nor geve coler for falce informations. I protest to your lo. desier of inablyng myselfe 
for hir male's servis cheeflyest drew me w'th greedyness to follow thos cources all this 
yeare, as your lo. knowes ther hath bene lycklyhoud of my imployment, and generawly 
spoken of. Now I here it is otherwye determyned, to w'ch I willingly submitte 
meselfe, but soe sensible of the disgrace, as if hir mai. dooe not showe me sum other 
token of hir favor, I shall as often wyshe myselfe dead as I have houres to lyve. For 
my fittnes to govern that island I leave to your lo. iudgment ; but this I vooe, he 
lyves not that w'th more duty and care shall kepe and defend it then I will ; and if by 
your lo. good meane it may be obtayned I shall thyncke hir mai. deales most gratiusly 
with me, and ever acknowledge myselfe most bound to your lo., whom I com'tte to 
God, and rest your lo. to command, 

"George Cumbeeland." 

It will be proper to give here a rent-roll of Skipton for 1652, which 
I have taken from the Castle Evidences. By inference we may estimate 
from it the size of the town two hundred and thirty years ago. At this 

* Castle Evidences. 


time, it will be remembered, the Countess of Pembroke was ' Lord ' of 
the honour of Skipton : — 

£ s. d. 
Anne Moorehouse, widdowe, for the Kilne-feild, Inge close, and 

the Rackes, paid att Whit-sonday and Martlemas 64 00 00 

Mr. Robert CoUinge, for the New Close and Calder, paid att the 

same dales 120 GO 00 

John Moorehowse, for the Hawe Parke and Hawe Bancke 056 00 00 

Thomas Pearsonn, for Middop's closes 006 06 08 

William Goodgion, vintner, for the eastfeild called Tullan close 025 00 00 
William Goodgion, hatter, for ffower Crosse closes called 

Weatherhead closes and one close at Lambert hall 005 00 00 

WUliam Goodgion, hatter, for Skibden feilds 025 00 00 

William Goodgion, for one close att Close Howse 002 00 00 

Thomas Gabetis, for Crookrise 26 13 04 

John Moorehowse, for Close House groundes 27 00 00 

The Tole of Skipton for this year comes to 16 00 00 

Mrs. Mawdlin Tailor, for brig-end closes 07 00 00 

Thomas Walbancke, for Whiney closes 06 00 00 

Richard Barrowe, for one close in the New-parke 02 06 08 

Mr. Vincent, for nether Walton Ray, brig-end close, and Shaftoe 

acre 16 00 00 

Thomas Moorehowse, for Newbye close 04 00 00 

Captaine Henry Goodgion, for a ffowereth pte of Connygarth ... 10 00 00 
Captaine Henry Goodgion, for a certaine peece of ground called 

GalloeSyke 03 00 00 

Mr, Millner, for twoe ptes of Connygarth, late Tho: Goodgion'a 20 00 00 

Thomas Corke, for an Intacke 01 10 00 

James Mooi'howse, for one close called Black ey close 10 10 00 

Mr. Millner, for the Newe close 30 00 00 

Captaine Catterell, for Elsoe croftes 18 00 00 

. . . for the Horse copse 12 00 00 

The Joyst in the Old Parke and Tarne-moore close 090 00 00 

Thomas Jackman, for the Crosse bancke close 03 00 00 

James Barrett, for one Messuage howse and grounde within the 

New-parke 03 13 04 

Christopher Bailey, for one Messuage and twoe little closes 01 13 04 

Widdow Gill, for one close in Calder called Conneygarth 02 06 08 

Thomas Kitchinge, for one close called Crosse close 02 10 00 

Henry Peale, for a house and ground in Calder, within Newe- 

parke 02 13 04 

Nicholas Hawkeshead, for a cottage, the bull Inge, and other 

grounde 04 03 04 

Richard Jenkinson, for his messuage, tenements, and grounds ... 06 13 04 

Richard Waller, for his house and two little closes 04 00 00 

John Moorhouse, for ye farms late in ye occupacon of Chai-les 

Bradford 18 00 00 

George Corke, for two closes within Parke George 03 00 00 

Thomas Mitchell, for one little close at Bawds hill 00 10 00 

Christopher Mitchell, for one house and kilne 03 03 04 

Richard Wharffe, for ye Walk Milne, one cottage, two guard'n, 

one barne, and one little crofte 05 06 OS 


ffrancis Wardeman, for one oxegand pte in the Ings 01 00 00 

Mr. Doctor Barker, for one close in Crackmore, two oxegan ptes 

in ye Ings, one acre in Sunnmore, and one acre in Sturton 


Roberte Benson, for one close in Goldaye, late in the possession 

of Margarete Benson 06 00 00 

Edward Alexander, for one acre in Goldaye, one oxegan pte in 

ye Ings, and ye Bull Common, and his house 03 00 00 

Mr. Gabriell Vincente, for tame-more closes 

Mr. Gabriell Vincente, for ]5ettison close 01 06 08 

Mr. Vincente, ye Hawefeild Haye and fogge 

Mr. Vincente, joiste of ye Old Parke 

Mr. Vincente, for ye Elso Croftes 

Ealphe Chambers, for a house and three closes 

WilLm. Pettye, for his house and grounds 10 00 00 

Christopher Younge, for a cottage and garth 01 00 00 

Thomas Ivenson, for his house and dye house 01 10 00 

Mr. Clapham, for ye Milnes 100 00 00 

Howses and Cottages within Skipton upon a yearly letie rente. Anno 1652. 

Leonard Jenkinson, for one house 01 00 00 

Robert Rowell, for one house 01 00 00 

Robert Braynor, for one house 01 10 00 

Robert Thompson, for one house 02 10 00 

Richard Townelly, for one house 02 10 00 

Samuell Mitchell, for one house and crofte 02 00 00 

John Mitchell, for one house 00 10 00 

ffrancis Paite, for one house 00 15 00 

Robert Blande, for a cottage 01 00 00 

Thomas Wilson, for one cottage 01 00 00 

fany Atkinson, for one house 01 06 08 

Robert Boulton, for one house 

Christopher Ouldfeilde, for one house 00 06 00 

George Cork, for one cottage 

Edward Goodgion, for one cottage 00 10 00 

Thomas Pearson, for one laith 00 05 00 

John Lamberte, for one house and garth 

Marke Preston, for one house 

John Thorne, for one cottage 

Anthony ffountaine, for one cottage 

Shoppes in Skipton letten upon an yearlye Rente belonginge to the Eighte hono^le the 

Countesse of Pembroke. Anno 1652, 

Roger Parkinson, for one shoppe 00 10 00 

Thomas Moone, for one shoppe 00 10 00 

Anne Barker, for one shoppe 00 10 00 

Anne Barker, for one back shoppe 00 05 00 

Roberte Dickenson, for one backe shoppe 00 05 00 

Anthonye Russell, for one shoppe 00 10 00 

John Stainton, for one shoppe and two chambers 01 12 00 

Widdowe Thomblinson, for one shope and two chambers 01 10 00 

Robert Smith, for one shoppe in lease from my ladye 00 04 00 

Wnim. Barrowe, for one shoppe 00 04 00 


Samuell Squier, for one shop 00 10 00 

Widdowe Pickeringe, for one house and shoppe 01 00 00 

Debora Gill, for one shoppe : 00 04 00 

Kaitter CToodgion, for a shope 00 12 00 

Willm. Hodgson, for 2 shopps 00 10 00 

Leonard Howgate, for one shopp 00 02 00 

In addition to the foregoing, the following tenants held houses in 
Skipton on leases of 21 years, and paid the rents stated : — John Stainton, 
16s. ; Thomas Odday, 6s. ; Robert Ashton, £1 3s. 4d. ; William Cooper, 
10s. ; Thomas Hustler, 6s. ; Richard Alcock, 5s. ; Chi-istopher Oldfield, 
£1 ; Anthony Dawtrie, 18s. 6d. ; William Barrowe, 4s.; Maudlin Tailor, 
9s. 4d. ; Thomas Goodgion, 10s. Id. ; Dorothy Hodgion, 14s. ; Robert 
Smith, 4s. ; Henry Currer, 8s. ; John Swier, 10s. ; William Kitchin, 
16s. ; James Dolphin, 5s. ; William Goodgion, 10s. ; Thomas Barker, 
£1 8s. j and Thomas Preston, 4s. 

Rather curious were some of the services due to the Countess from 
her tenants. The tenant of a certain house in Skipton had, in addition 
to the money payment, to " pay three hens yearly and eight loads of 
coal yearly, suit to court and mill, and to set ten young trees yearly." 
Money was in time accepted in lieu of the actual fulfilment of services of 
this kind. It is probable that at the time of the foregoing rent-roll the' 
town of Skipton consisted of little more than the spacious street now 
known as High-street. Newmarket, to which I find references of a 
date equally remote, was then what its name implies — a new market, and 
few if any buildings stood there.* In the Bailey appear to have been 
several houses, but practically the town was then all contained in the 
one street we know as High-street. Indeed, this remark might with 
safety be applied to a period far more recent than that now dealt with. 

The Com-t Leet was then in the height of its power. It was in the 
province of the members of this body to see to the proper observance of 
the laws affecting public order and convenience, as well as the customs 
peculiar to the burgh. They might inflict fines upon persons causing 
nuisances, or permitting nuisances to exist upon premises belonging to 
them. The proper repair of the roads was their care. They had also 
to see that the customs of the market were not contravened. Anyone 

* On the 22ncl February, 1734, it was agreed by the Earl of Thanet with " William Baldwin, 
of Marten, that in consideration of his paying to the Right Hono'ble the Earl of Thanet the 
sum of six pence yearly at Martinmass he shall have liberty to errect one peice of building on 
tlie said Karl's wastes in a street called tlie new market, in Skipton, opposite to the ifmnt of 
the houses there belonging to the said Wilham Baldwin, from Lady-day next for the term of 
twenty-one years."— Castie Eoidcnces. 


detected giving light weight in the selling of butter, potatoes, or 
other commodities, or giving short measure in the selling of corn or 
yarn, was promptly presented at the Court, and was fined according to a 
fixed scale. These fines were dropped into the coffers of the lord of the 
manor. The following presentments are extracted from last century 
records of the Court Leet for Skipton : they will not, perhaps, be 
thought out of place : — 

"We the jurymen do amerce each p'son who shall hereafter suffer their hogs or 
swine to go at large within the jurisdiction of this court the sum of 3s. id. for each 
hog or swine. 

"We the jurymen do amerce the several persons who ought to repare the 
highway leading from Skipton, within this manor, to Drafton, to witt, from a place 
called Skipton Schooll Bridge to a place within this manner called Witch-hole, the 
sum of thirteen shillings and four pence. 

" We the jurymen do amerce each person or persons that shall or may hereafter 
turn, fix, or tye horses, mares, geldings, mules, or asses in the publick street of 
Skipton any Saturday one penny every such horse, &c., and do, as much as we 
have power or lawfully can, authorise and impower James Mackfarnell to impound 
the same untill the said one penny be paid, and that the pinder have no advantage from 
the impounding the same. 

" We the jurjanen do amerce Wm. Jennings the sum of two pence for breaking 
Skipton pinfold, and taking from thence his cattle imi^ounded therein by or by order 
of Mr. Thomas Kipling. 

" We the jurymen do present that several persons comeing to the market do 
suffer their horses to remaine in the streets to the great niusence of his Majestie's 
subjects ; we therefore do amerce each person or persons who shall for the ffuture 
offend in like manner the sum of six shillings and eightpence. 

" Whereas the persons hereinafter named do keep mastife dogs or bitches at large 
and unmusiled within the jurisdiction of this court, to the great damage and nusance 
of his majestie's subjects resideing within the jurisdiction of this court, vizt., Richard 
Birtwhistle, Abraham Dixon, James Birtwhistle, Jos. Jennings, John Jennings, 
Richard Oldfield, Geo. Brogden, John Emot, William Smith, John Weatherhead, 
Saml. Goodgeon, Thomas Killham, and John Hanson : Now we the jury do amerce 
the several persons above-named, and all other persons resideing or to reside within 
this manor, who shall after the 29th day of this instant keep any mastife dogs or 
bitches unmusiled in the day time, or otherwise than in their yards or backsides after 
4 o'clock in the afternoon between Michaelmas and the 2nd day of ffeb. yearly, or 
after nine o'clock in the afternoon between 2nd day of ffeb. and Mich'as yearly, the 
sum of 13s. id, for every time or offence to be committed or done contrary to this 
pain or amercement. 

" We the jurymen do present that Samuel Goodgion, owner of eight roods of land 
in Skipton Ings, for the summer 1746, did not cut down his grass within the same 
place on or before the 12th day of July last, whereby he stands amerced unto the Lord 
of the Manor the sum of two pounds ten shillings and eight pence." 

In the time of the later Cliffords, and indeed until the year 1862, the 
Quarter Sessions for the West Riding of Yorkshire were held at Skipton, 


and here was a strong prison. It may be noted that in the time 
of Thomas Earl of Thanet a witness (91 years of age) in a lawsuit with 
which the Earl was connected deposed that " the Countesse of Pembroke 
built a house for a jayle, with ireon windows, in Skipton." This building 
continued in use as a prison, though in an improved form, until recent 
times, and even now is known as the Old Tolbooth, I find also that a 
payment was made in the year 1701 "ffor iron worke to the new engine 
in ye toll-booth for burning of ffelons in ye cheek, &c., 4s. lOd." The 
following records of proceedings at the Skipton Sessions nearly two 
hundred and fifty years ago will no doubt be read with interest. They 
are from the West Riding Sessions Rolls : — 

Skipton. XIXo die Julii, Ao Xlllto Rs Caroli, 1638. 

Coram : — Sir Richard Tempest, Knt,, Sir William Lyster, Knt., William Mallorie, 
Esq., and Thomas Heber, Esq. 

Willmm Barker, Forasmuch as complainte is made that one William Barker, 
Addingham. of Addingham, in this W. Riding, haveing administred of 

the Goods of Thomas Barker, his brother, amounteinge unto 
a good estate, and hath the same in his possession, yet nevertheles provydeth not 
for two children of his brother's, but threatneth to leave the children to the chardge 
of the parishioners of Skipton, contrary to all law and equity e : — Itt is now therefore 
ordered that Margaret Barker, daughter of the said T. B., now at Skipton, shalbe 
sent to the said W.B. at Addingham aforesaid, there to be provyded for untill said 
W.B. bringe a true certificate and accompte of his administration, and if he shall 
refuse to performe this order, then to be bound to answeare his contempte in the 

Poore Apprentices, Robert Clough, of the Parish of Kighley, refuseth to take his 
Kighley, Kildwick. apprentice, being legally tendered to him : — Ordered that said 
R.C. shall take the saide poore Childe apprentice, if he have 
not a scald head, or els be taken bounde to answeare his contempt before Judges 
at next Assizes. 

Thomas Backhouse, of Bradley, in the parish of Kildwicke, doth wilfully refuse 
to take William Love, a poore child putt apprentice to him : — Ordered that 
apprentice be confirmed to him, and that he answeare his contempt next session 
and pay and satisfie chardges of parish for maintaineinge the said poore child since 
he was tendered unto him. 

Felons arrested, Forasmuch as divers felons have been lately arrested within 

Linton in Craven, the par. of Linton in Craven and committed unto his Majestie'a 

Gaole att the Castle of Yorke, which hath beene very 

chardgeable in expenses in conveying them thither :— Ordered that chardges so 

expended shal bo paid out of the constable lay equally assessed upon the whole 


Skipton. Undecimo die Julii, Anno XV Ca/roli Regis, 1640. 

Coram : — Sir Fferdinando Ffairefax and Sir Will: Lister, Knts., and William 
Lowther, William White, and Edward Parker, Esquires. 


King''s Gaudes, Forasmuch as this Court is informed uppon the behalfe of 

Hchden. the inhabitants of Hebden, in this West Riding, that tyme 

out of memorie all the Kinge's guades hath bene paide by 
ancient yearely rent as all comon profitts are devyded and pastures stinted within 
that Towneshipp according to every penny auncient rent for theire severall Tenements, 
which custome is nowe opposed, and therefore it was desired the said auncient 
Custome should be confinned : It is therefore Ordered all the said gaudes and layes 
to be paid hereafter amongst them shall be rated and assessed accordinge to the 
auncient rent, and if any of the inhabitants there find them greeved, then they are 
to complayne to the next Sessions to be holden for this W. Riding, and further order 
to be taken in the premises. 

At the same Sessions the justices made an order respecting Bolton's 
gift of five pounds to the poor of Addingham. At Sessions held some 
twenty years before it was ordered that an assessment should be levied 
on the parish to defray the loss sustained by one Edmund Tulland, of 
Skipton, by the death of his two horses during a thunderstorm on Tarn 
Moor, At Skipton in the year 1677, 'Richard Oddie, of Meagill, and 
Chr, Brayshaw, of Skipton, leade miner,' gave information on oath, before 
Mr. Cuthbert Wade, J.P., that " This pr'sent morneing they heard one 
Henrie Slater, of Thorp, a collier, say yt all cavalears weare roagues, 
and yt the king was noe better, and further sayth not." 

A rough idea of the population of Skipton at this time may be 
gained by comparison of the entries of baptisms and burials in the 
parish registers. Three years' baptisms are as follows : — 

Skipton only. 

Country Townships. 














54 58 112 

The average for three years for the whole parish is therefore 37*3, and 
for Skipton alone 18. During the same period the burial entries are : — 

Skipton only. 

Country Townships. 














50 34 84 

These figures give a yearly death average of 16*6 for Skipton, and 28 
for the whole parish. If, therefore, we were to assume a birth-rate of 30 
per thousand of the population, and a death-rate of 24, these figures 











would give us this result : that at the beginning of the seventeenth 
centuiy — nearly three hundred years ago — the inhabitants of Skipton 
numbered between 600 and 700, and of the whole parish 1100 or 1200. 
Unfortunately, however, the registers were kept very carelessly in early 
times ; so that the population may have been materially larger than 

Some years appear to have been very unhealthy. In 1602, for 
instance, the burials are more than double those of the preceding year, 
while in 1603 they fall to the ordinary number. In the four years 
1618-21 the baptisms and burials are very numerous. The numbers 

are : — 

Skipton. Total. 

1618 36 53 

1619 38 66 

1620 37 59 

1621 55 82 

The large increase in 1621 it is difficult to account for. The totals of 
marriages during these years were — 1618, 18 ; 1619, 16 ; 1620, 7 ; 1621, 
16. In 1665 the population of some places in Craven was decimated 
by a visit of the Plague. The Skipton register has this reference : — 

"1665 — July 22. — William Wade, who lived att London, comeing to see his 
ifather, Anthony Wade, dyed on Rumells Moore, as it was supposed on the 
plauge, therefore buried there." 

About thirty yards from the footpath leading over the moor to Silsden, 
and some five hundi'ed yards beyond Lady Well, stands a roughly-hewn 
stone, eighteen inches in height. It has been supposed that it marks 
the place of this unfortunate's interment. The stone is evidently not 
of modern date. 

A glance at the parish registers informs us, too, of the old families 
of Skipton. Many names, we find, have died out, l)ut the majority are 
still known amongst us. The following are recorded for Skipton in the 
closing years of the sixteenth century or the eai-ly years of the 
seventeenth. I have preferred to retain the spelling given in the 

registers : — 

Allison (and Allason) 








Birkett (and Byrket) 














Ouldfield (IGOO) 




Bowcock (1599) 



Brayshawe (and Bra- 
















Heelesse (and Heeles) 





Bullocke (1599) 












Calverd (Calvert) 











Smythe (1600) 















Swyre (1599) 





Iveson (1606) 



Jackman (1600) 





Crooke (1599) 









Currow (and Currer) 


Tulland (1600) 













Dixon (and Dickson) 


Wardman (1600) 
















Funtance (and Foun- 




















Wyclife (1606) 

Goodgion (1599) 



Grayme (1596) 


Oftentimes in earlier years nicknames appear in the registers. Thus 
we may come across — John Gawthrop, alias Horseman ; Scotch Willie ; 


William Wilson, alias Cutter ; Isabel Scarbrough, alias Scottye ; John 
Mossley, alias Back ; William Strickland, alias Stately Will ; Henry 
Emmott, alias Long fellow ; John Fournance, alias Jay-horse ; Jane 
Smith, alias Great Jane ; William Kayley, alias Irish Will ; and 
Eichard Ellis, alias Duty. 

The following Skipton names are taken from a rent-roll of the middle 
of the seventeenth century : — Willm. Hustlar, Thomas Mallam, Thomas 
Nobell, Petter Tullan, Richarde Kytchenge, Thomas Wetherherd, 
Willm. Gudgion, Ricd. Wallar, Willm. Ardington, George Barrett, 
Henrye Atkynson, Crystofer More, Henrye Crocke, Willm. Bulcoke, 
John Mytchell, Thomas Herde, Thomas Tomlinson, Richarde Brayeshaye, 
Edwarde Wodcocke, Petter Netherwoodd, Robart Preston, Henrye 
Corke, John Holmes, Robart Barrowe, John Stanethropp, Roger Elhs, 
Thomas Swyer, John Stott, Henrye Gathroppe, Ric. Brige, Thomas 
Oldesworthy, John Smythe, John Gell, John Browne, Thomas 
Brukebancke, Ricd. Hellis, Ric. BoUand, Thomas Capestacke, James 
Whettycarr, Ric. Dodjhen, George TattarsaU, Henrye Fothergell, Ric. 
Harrison, Willm. Lambe, Ric. Mosselie, Thomas Thesellthaitte, Willm. 
Hardie, Thomas Morhouse, Thomas ffarrante, Thomas Ivenson, 
Lawrens Bulcocke, Robarte Battersbye, John Jenkynson, Thomas 
Holdsworthe, Robarte Tomson, Ric. Cryar, Henrie Symson, Joseph 
Lambartte, Ricd. Lockewode, John Welson, Ric. Whetfeld, Ricd. 
Shuttcllworthe, Robart Oldefelde, Lanslett Knowles, Willm. Newbie, 
Henrie Johnson, John Wardemann, Willm. Warde, George Wayneman, 
Willm. Hustelar, James Rylaye, Robart Blayecaye. 

There was formerly in Skipton a residence of the Lambert family, 
afterwards of Calton. It was known as Winterwell Hall. In Whitaker's 
time, a portion of it remained. " Winterwell Hall, in Skipton," he says, 
" so called probably from a well never frozen in winter, which is now 
swallowed up in the canal, was more than half destroyed when that was 
cut. Part of it, however, remains on the right hand side of the 
canal bridge on entering the town from Broughton. This was, about the 
middle of Henry VIII.'s reign, the residence of the Lainberts. And it 
seems not to have been without a degree of magnificence, for in an old 
rental of John Lambert, son of the lawyer, I find it described as con- 
taining the following apartments : — ' The tower, the gi'ete parlor and 
chamb' ov' it, the study chamber and parlour or study under it.' " 

From the Roll of Thomas Lord Clifford it is seen that this hall was 
granted to the Lamberts in the year 1436. In its later years the house 


was known as Lambert Hall. In a survey made about the year 1606, 
on the death of George Earl of Cumberland, I find this entry : — 

" One messe called Winterwell hall, Lambert hall, in Skipton, and 5 bouatts of land 
wth the appurteunc " 

Earl George appears to have purchased the residence from the 
Lamberts. So far as I have been able to discover, its last occupant was 
one Captain Goodgion,* evidently a man of wealth and importance, who 
lived in the time of Lady Anne Clifford. After his time it must surely 
have fallen into decay. Certain lands seem to have been appurtenant to 
the hall, for in a document of date 1650 is mention of " Certain foreland 
containing 2 acres lying on the back-side of Captain Goodgion's laith at 
Lambert Hall, now in his possession," and of " 5 oxgangs of land belong- 
insr unto Lambert Hall." The latest reference I have met with is in the 
parish register, where is notified the death in 1665 of "Agnes, the 
daughter of Hugh Sawley, fformerly of Marton, now liueth in a chamber 
at Lambert Hall, in Skipton." 

Allusion must here be made to Alenwath Tarn — a sheet of water 
formerly situated, thinks Whitaker, on one of the spongy flats now 
drained and enclosed on the road leading to Rilstone. In the Compotus 
of Thomas Lord Cliff'ord, 1436, occurs the following entry :— "Pro arcis 
anguillarum de Alanwath Tame, 55.," from which it appears that the 
pool was then stocked with eels. In the map of the West Riding given 
in some editions of Camden's Britannia this sheet of water is shown as 
of very considerable extent, and is named "The Terne." In his 
Chronicles and Stories of the Craven Dales, Dr. Dixon makes one of the 
characters in the Legend of Peter King refer to Alenwath Tarn : — ■ 
" They'd a pleasant ride alang shaady laanes, and by t' side o' Alenwath 
Tarn (it warn't drained then), and by some purlin' streams. T' day wer 
varra hot ; but, i' thir days, Craven wor a forest, an' ther wer lots o' 
trees ivverywheer, to keep aff" t' heat o' t' midday sun." (P. 187.) 

Several of the inns of Skipton date from the seventeenth century. 

One of the oldest is the Red Lion in High-street. In the old-fashioned 

kitchen of this hostelry a stone above the spacious fire-place is 

inscribed : — 

F. C. 


In a rent-roll for Skipton of the year 1649 occurs the following 
enumeration of the premises held by one 'Robert Aisten' : — "One 

' Henrie Gooclgion, vocat Capten Goodgion."— Old Rent Roll. 


auiicient burgage, 2 stables, one great barne, one house and cow-house, 
one garden, one croft, and backside or fold ; in iv'ch messuage or hurgage 
is a wyneseller to idcli auntiently did helong a hjcens for retailing of 

A casual reference to the importance of Skipton in the middle of the 
seventeenth century occurs in the correspondence of the Parker family, 
of Browsholme Hall.* In a letter written by * Jo. Assheton,'t January 
20th, 1G60, to Mr. Edward Parker, of Browsholme, whom he wished to 
meet, ho says — "I have adventred to appoynt Gisburne — I fteare yo 
would think it to fFarr to drow yo to Skipton, though I thinke that 
ffitest place ffor our meeting vppon this occasion, as ?/« Center of 
y'^ Gounterey to doe husinesse in d' most noted toivne, But the wayes & 
wether considered I thinke not of it now, least yo think Gisburne ffar 
enough to come." 


Many Skipton families in addition to that of Lambert, already 
referred to, had long before the period we are now dealing with attained 
to positions of wealth and influence. There were the Ferrands, the 
Garths, the Malhams, the Currers. 

The Ferrands may be traced back to a remoter period than the 
others, and fortunately their early history is not obscure. The first 
member of this family of whom we have any record is Hugh Ferrand, 
or Farrand, who in the latter part of the 12th century obtained for him- 
self and his heirs the ofiice of janitor of Skipton Castle. William do 
Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle, was the grantor ; and among the witnesses 
named in the charter is Robert le Vavasovu' — no doubt an ancestor of 
that William le Vavasour whom Edward II. commanded to render 
allegiance to Robert de Cliftbrd, when he granted to the latter the castle 
and honour of Skipton. In the time of Hugh Ferrand's grandson, the 
castle and honour fell to the crown, and the bailiffs of the Queen 
Dowager Eleanor, who were then in possession of the castle, contested 
the charter under which the office of warder was vested perpetually in 
the Ferrand family. Edward I. thereupon ordered a writ of encpiiry 

* " Description of Browsholme Hall" (1815). 

t This is the Sir John Asslieton, of Whalley, of whom Whitaker patronisingly says :— " He 
atoned in some measure for the errors of his public character by his private virtues. " The grave 
error committed by tliis worthy knight was that he aided the Parliament in tlieir righteous 
struggle with one of the most incapable and senseless monarclis that has sat upon the throne of 
England. Whitaker had an intense affection for the Puritans ! 



(quoted by Dr. Whitaker), of which the following is a translation, to 

issue : — 

" Edward, &c. Hugh Ferrand, of Skipton-in-Craven, by supplicating, hath shown 
to us by his petition laid before us and our Council : That whereas William de 
Fortibus, formerly Earl of Albemarle, by his charter gave and granted to Hugh 
Ferrand, grandfather of the aforesaid Hugh, the custody of the gate of Skipton Castle, 
to hold to himself and heirs ; and the aforesaid Hugh, the grandfather, during the 
whole of his life, after the completing of the aforesaid charter, and after his death 
Henry his son and heir, and the father of the aforesaid Hugh now petitioning, have 
held the custody aforesaid, with all things pertaining thereunto, until the aforesaid 
fortress, which came into our hands by the death of Isabella de Fortibus, formerly 
Countess Albemarle [was yielded up] to Elenora of good memory, formerly Queen of 
England, our most beloved mother, whose bailiffs of the castle aforesaid have removed 
the aforesaid Henry from the said custody. We have thought that suitable redress 
should be awarded to him on this account, and we wish you to be more fully informed 
whether the aforesaid Hugh, and Henry, son, and father of the aforesaid Hugh, now 
petitioning, were seized of the custody aforesaid, or not," &c. 

Ferrand was reinstated in his office, and for more than three hundred 
years afterwards the office remained in his family. In 1586, by the 
interposition of Francis Clifford, afterwards fourth Earl of Cumberland, 
William Ferrand was permitted to bear a coat of arms. " lam willingly 
become petitioner," writes Clifford to the Earl Marshal, " for William 
Farrand, one that my lord my bro'r seteth no little store by, both for 
the fidelity and good service of himself and all his ancestors to our house 
ever since our possession of Skipton Castle for this three hundred yeres 
contynuin, and more also for his owne virtues, which mak him worthie 
of better place, and ye uttermost of such fixvours as y'r I'p, by virtue of 
y'r said office, shall be pleased to bestow upon him, which I desire should 
be by interposynge of y'r I'p's authoritie with the herauld and officer of 
armes of these Northe partes, that he may be exempt from the state 
plebeian, and be admitted into the Societie and Fellowship of the Gentrie, 
and allowed to bear ai-mes ; whereunto both by abilitie, education, and 
otherwise he is sufficiently enabled." In the grant which followed, it 
it was recited : — " Whereas, William Ferrand, of Skipton within Craven, 
in the Countye of Yorke, Gentleman, sonne of Christopher : the sonne of 
William ; Sone and Heire of Robert Ferrand, that was sonne of Roarer 
Ferrand and Isabell his wife. Daughter and sole Heire of Wm. Dawtrine,* 
of the same Countye, is well borne and descended of progenitors bearing 
signes and tokens of their race and gentrie called Arms, which likewias 
imto him are dew by just descent and prerogative of birth." Accord- 
ingly the Herald, thus recognising his right already to bear arms, was 

otherwise De Altaripa. See 2nd ed. Wliitaker's Craven, p. 172. 



cra'eful in the grant to '■'■ratifie and confirme ;" not simply to "give and 
gi-ant," as is usual where arms have not previously been borne by 
a family. It was this Ferrand who built Carleton Hall. Of tliis 
once pretentious residence nothing now remains, save the mouldering 
walls. The following epigraph is, however, yet very legible on the 
east front (I am able to give the illustration through the kindness of 
Mr. J. A. Busfeild, of Upwood, Bingley) : — 

llll.'ATWLL : 1584V' 

William Ferrand, the grandfather of this William, was one of the execu- 
tors of Henry, second Earl of Cumberland. He had two brothers, 
Richard and Thomas, both well-to-do merchants in London. Thomas, 
who died in 1537, by will dated July IGth, 153G, left " to the making of 
the Kawsey in Skypton, from the house where my father did departe till 
ye come to the church, 40s." Richard died in May, 15G0. By his will, 
dated 17th May, 15G0, he oi-dained his "well beloved wief Joan" sole 
executrix, and " accordinge to the laudable use and custome of the 
cittie of London" he bequeathed to her one third parte of his goods, 
debts, and chattels ; and another third to his children equally ; to his 
brother Roger " a ringe of golde," and to his brother Harry and sister 
(Maude Ferrand) small legacies ; to his wife his house in Coruhill, lands 


in the city of Bristol, and his house at Beverley ; and a " ringe of golde" 
to a number of friends and relatives. To the memory of this Richard 
Ferrand there is a very interesting brass plate in the nave of Beverley 
Minster, containing a rhyming epitaph. This is shown upon the 
opposite page. 

I find that in 1616 one Thomas Ferrand is said to be the "castle 
steward." Towards the close of the same century, Timothy 
Farrand was successively minister at Bolton and Skipton, The 
Skipton parish register contains the baptismal entry of " John, son 
of John Farrand, of Skipton," dated November, 1598. The family 
of Ferrand branched out in various directions. The name died 
out in Skipton many years ago. The following table shows the relation- 
ship of the Ferrands mentioned above : — 

Roger Ferrand, of Skipton = Isabel, dr. of William de Altaripa, of Carleton. 

Robert Ferrand, of Skipton = 

William Ferrand, one of = . . dr. of . . Tempest, Richard Ferrand, citizen Thomas Ferrand,citizen 

the executors of Henry, 
2nd Earl of Cumberland. 

ofYellison. ofLondon, died 1560, and of London, died 1537. 
interred in Beverley 

Christopher Ferrand, of Skipton = Jane, dr. of John Dale, of Carleton. 

William Ferrand, who built = Elizabeth, dr. of Thomas Blenkensopp, of 

Carleton Hall in 1584, and 
obtained coat of arms, 
died 1601. 

Helbeck, Westmorland. 

Thomas Ferrand, steward of Skipton = Mary (1) dr. of Edmund = Blanche (2) dr. of Edmund 
Castle in 1610, died 1627. Dudley, of Yanwith, Towneley, of Royle. 


A continuation of this pedigree is given in Whitaker's Craven. 

Of the Garths, Testamenta Ehoracensia says : — " The Garths were 
retainers of the Cliffords at Skipton. On the 10th of July, 17 Henry 
VI., William del Garth, Esq., of Skipton, executes a deed of gift of all 
his effects to Thomas del Garth his gi*andson, Joan his wife, and Richard 
del Rane, rector of Marton-in-Craven." 

In 1540 a Thomas Garth is mentioned as keeper of the King's Woods 
at Bolton Canons, a patent office which he transmitted to his 

* King's Woods, because in 1539 the priory had been dissolved, and the king had not yet 
granted the estates to the first Earl of Cumberland. 

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Of the Malhams the following will is an interesting memento. It 
appears in one of the Surtees Society's publications : — 

"Sep. 13, 1499. — I, Matild Mallom, of Skipton-in-Craven, wedow, holl in mynd, 
makys this my last wyll and testament in this maner of wyse. First, I bequeth my 
soule unto Almyghty God, our Lady Saynt Mary, and all the holy company of heven ; 
and my body to be buryed wtin the kyrke of Skipton-in-Craven, negh unto my 
husbond, John Malhom, on whose saule Jhesu have mercy. My best beeste to my 
curett for my mortuarii. I woll ther be don at Skij^ton aforsaid solempny for the 
helth of my saule Dirige and Messe, wt an arvill. I will also ther be said for the helth 
[of] my saule iij trentaUes, wt'in a yer after my decesse, of iij prestes. I will also ther 
be said v Messes for the redempcion of my saule ; the firste in the worshipp of the 
Blessed Trinite ; the secund in the worshipp of the bitter Passion of our Lord Jhesu 
Cryste ; the iijt in the worshipp of the Blessed Sacrament ; the iiijt in the worshipp of 
our blessed Lady Saynt Mary ; the vt in the worshipp of all the Holy Company of 
Heyven, that is to say angelles, archangelles, patriarches, profettes, apostelles, 
marturs, confessowrs, and vu-gyns. Also I will ther be gy ven in almes, wtin a moneth 
next affter my desesse, to xij pore men and women xijcZ. ; and xijc^. to my curett for 
to dispence wt me for al maner of tythes or dewtyes forgotten or nott payed, dew unto 
hym in tyme jjast. And, lyk maner of wyse, I gyff unto the Prior and covent of 
Bolton in Craven iijs. inyl. to pray for my saule. I bequest, also, unto the house of 
Knaresbrugh xvjt^. To Roger Martendale and his wiff a cow. To William Marten- 
dale, his son, a styrke. To Robert Martendale a stjo-ke. To Alice Martendale a why- 
styrke. Roger Martendale, ye yonger, a styrke ; and to Genett Martendale a Avhy- 
styrke. I will also yt my son, John Malhom, reward my servantes w* ilkon of them 
sumwhatt ; and specially them that hath most labour wt me ; as he thynkes best for 
the helth of my saule. I gyff to Thomas Smyth and his wyff a cow. To Johanne, hig 
doughtur, a why-styrk. To yonge John Smyth a styrke ; and to Antone, his broder, 
a styrke. Also I gyff unto Agnes Melbanke a cow and a bed ; yt is to say ij 
coverlettes, a payr of schetes, and a payr of blankettes. The residew of all my goodes 
and cattell nott bequeste, I gyf and graunt frely unto my sonnes William Malhom 
and John Malhom. And to the performyng of this my last will, I orden and make 
niyn executours my said sonnes. Sir William and -John, to iierforme this my last 
will. In witness wheroff I put unto this present wrytyng my scale the day and yere 

The will was proved March 18th, 1503. 

The 'Sir' William was very probably the ' Wm. Malhome' who between 
the years 1476 and 1517 was rector of Marten, for 'Sir' was of course a 
term then applied to ecclesiastics. Eespccting this William, who was a 
Master in Chancery in the beginning of the sixteenth century, 
Whitaker quotes a very interesting memorial, taken from the papers of 
the Malhams of Elslack. It relates to Marton cliurch : — 

" Brother, — I will Sir W. Martyndale be Parish Priest at Marton, and to have like 
wages Sii' W. Hodgson had ; and I will Sir William Hodgson to have vi markes yearly 
dining his lyfe, to tarry at Marton, and praye for mee and my father and mother's 
sawles. The both begin ther service at Midsomer next coming. I am content that 
James Smith go to Sir James Carr to scoyle at Michelmas next comyng ; and also I 
am content ye paye for his bord, which shall be allowed you ageane. From London 


ye second daye of Aprill. I referr all other thinges to ye bearer hereof, to make report 
unto you. Charge Sir- Wm. he speake litel of Carlton, and kepe that matter 

" By your Bro', Wm. Malhome." 
(Directed— " To his B'r, John Malhome.") 

It will be observed that both in the will of Matilda Malham, quoted 
above, and in the letter of William Malham, mention is made of the 
families of Martindale and Smith. In Collectanea Topographica et 
Genealogica, vol. 6, is given among "Charters relating to Elslack," &c., 
the one following : — 

"Ric'us Malhome capell' & Will'us Dickson,* vicar, de Ernclife, dedimus Johi 
Malhome in Skipton in Craven omnia terras, &c., in villis & t'ritorijs de Skipton & 
Broughton in Craven que habuimus in die confectionis de dono & feofame'to Thome 
Malhome de Skipton. Test. Rog'o Tempest, Thome Garth, Will'o Gargrave, &c. 
Dat' ap. Skipton in fo see Kat'ine virginis, 37 Hen. VI." (April 29, 1459.) 

In the middle of the seventeenth century at least two families of Malhams 
were resident at Skipton. It appears that in 1G80 the magistrates 
ordered that the " Chwdns. and Ovei'seers of the poor of Skipton pay and 
alow one Mr[s]. Ann Mott, being sprung of that good family of the 
Malhavis, five shillings monthl}^ being now growne into great want and 

In Sir W. Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire, 1666, is given a 

pedigree of the Currer family of Skipton. Dugdale's account is as 

follows : — 

"Skypton, 30 Martij, 1600. 
" Arms. — Ermine, three bars sable each charged with a closet argent, on a chief 
azure a lion passant of the third, a canton or. 

" Crest. — A lion's head erased argent, gorged with a collar sable charged with three 

Henry Currer, of Hollingliall, in com. Ebor.= Dorothy, daughter of William Mawde. 

2. Walter Currer, 1. William Currer, of Skipton = Ellen, danshter of Bryan Klizabeth, wifeof 

obiit siue prole. in Craven, in co. Kbor, son 
and heir, died in anno 1044. 

I'arker, of JJrou.shulme, Nicholas Wiilker, 
in com. Lane. of (JortliropHall, 

in com. Jiborum. 

2. William Currer, of 1. Henry Currer, of Skipton, = Cath., daughter of Ambrose Mary, wife of 

Wiphill, in co. in co. El)or, died circa an. 

Ebor.t 1058. t 

Loraine, of I'inmouth, in Ili'iiry Cood- 
com. iS'orthumb. geon, of Skip- 

ton, in com. 

■William Currer, retatis 19 an. 30 Mart. IGCG. Grace. 

* William Dickson was vicar of Arncliffo from 1451 to 1471. 
t Baptised July 22, 1621.— Parish Register, 
X Baptised December 17, 1629.— yftid. 


There is a brass in Skiptou church containing the names of later 
members of the family. The Skipton register shows a Dorothy, daughter 
of ' Mr. William Currer, of Skipton, ' to have been buried September 
29th, 1623. 

In the seventeenth century a branch of the Longfellow family was 
resident at Skipton — presumably a branch of the stock whence sprang 
the great American poet. I have come across a dozen entries in the 
parish registers in which the Longfellows are named. They all occur 
within the years 1645 to 1687. The earliest entry I have taken is as 
follows : — 

1645 (baptised) " October 10, William, son of William Longfellow, of Skipton." 

This William Longfellow senex probably removed from Skipton,for in 1681 
he is spoken of as "late of Skipton." It is possible, however, that this may 
mean that he was not living at the time. The Rev. R. Collyer, of New 
York, suggests that the elder William may have been a native of Ilkley. 
He writes : — " Richard Longfellow, senex, of Ilkley, who died in 1597, 
had four sons, John, William, Richard, and James, Then this John had 
a son William, who was baptized in 1601, and Richard had a son 
William, who was baptized in 1602. One of these stays in Ilkley, but 
the otlier vanishes, and the lost William will be the one, as I guess, who 
turns up in Skipton, and starts your branch of the family. " So far as I 
can make out, the genealogy of the Skipton family is as follows : — 

William Longfellow, of Skipton = Mary . . died 16S6, a widow, 
(who afterwards left Skipton) I 

William, born Oct. 10, Robert = . . (?) Agnes, died 16S1. 
1645, died Dec. 2, IGSO. = * • j 

Lawrence, died 1681. Robert, died 1683. 

Ann, died 1678. Mary, born 1670, died 1697 = Roger Scattergood, 1689. 

In Skipton parish churchyard — by the south wall — is a tombstone to the 
Longfellows. The inscription is in Latin, much w^orn, and the stone is 
broken. It records that beneath were interred the bodies of William 
Longfellow, junior, who died 1680, Mary Scattergood (nee Longfellow), 
who died 1697 ; and Ann Mason, whom the pai'ish register shows to have 
been a widow when she died in November, 1747 ; the stone gives her age 
as G3 years. The name occurs also of Francis Mason, died October 15th, 
1783, aged 62. He was an innkeeper, and the entry in the parish 
register contains the remark: — "Buried 17th [October] under Long- 



fellow's tomb." A daughter, Hannah, was interred in the same tomb. 
Probably these Masons were related to the Longfellows. In addition to 
the Longfellows mentioned above there was a Frances Longfellow, who 
manned Francis Pearson, August 22nd, 1697. 





I N selecting the tenth lord of Skipton as the first of a series 
of Local Worthies, I have chosen one whose life was in 
many respects most romantic, whose ability as a military 
commander was of a high order, and, above all, one 
whose character was eminently moral and exemplary. 

The Shepherd Lord. 

The years of this lord's childhood were years of war and bloodshed. 
The rival Houses of York and Lancaster contested for supremacy with 
varying success. Young Henry's father and grandfather both took an 
active share in that civil struggle, and both fell beneath the standard of 
Lancaster. Henry was born in 1453, two years before the battle of St. 
Alban's, in which his gi'and-parent, Thomas Lord Clifford, was slain. 
This bereavement gave to John, the succeeding lord, cause for prosecut- 
ing with increased bitterness the part he had marked out for himself. 
But in 1461 he too fell, and thus in a time of unparalleled disquiet the 
youthful Henry, the future lord of Skipton, was left, with a younger 
brother and a sister, to the care of a defenceless mother. For the estates 
of John Lord Clifford, as of many other Lancastrian nobles, were at once 
seized by the king under Act of Attainder. The affectionate mother 
knew the danger by which her sons were surrounded. She knew with 
what feelings of hatred her husband had been held ; how obnoxious he 
had rendered himself by his uncompromising hostility. And she rightly 
concluded tiat the safety of his children was jeopardised so long as they 


remained under her own oare. The mode adopted by the lady for pre- 
serving the yoimg heir was a very ingenious one. When but seven 
years of age, while yet unable to comprehend the danger which 
threatened him, he was sent to Londesborough, and given over to the 
charge of a shepherd, who clothed him and in every way treated him as 
his own child. It is said that the boy's guardians were old dependents of 
the Clifford family. It may be so, but there seems reason to doubt it, for 
such an association would not increase the desired secrecy. Henry's 
brother, Richard, was despatched to Holland, where he soon died. 

Young Henry had not been in concealment long before a report got 
abroad that Lady Margaret Clifford's sons were still alive and in 
England. The lady was closely questioned upon the point, and the 
answers she gave satisfied her enemies for a time. She said she had 
sent them out of the country to be educated, and that she did not know 
whether or not they still lived. Shortly afterwards Lady Margaret 
married Sir Lancelot Threlkeld, of Threlkeld, in Cumberland, a most 
worthy knight, who fortunately shared equally with herself anxiety 
for young Henry's safety. *' When, therefore, as was soon after the case, 
a murmur of his being in existence and concealment was revived, and 
his increasing years rendered his danger every day more imminent, they 
sent him, with the peasantry and their families, to whose society he had 
been habituated, to Threlkeld, in Cumberland, to be brought i;p simply 
as a shepherd ; and at this place, under the vigilant eye of the father-in- 
law's kindred, or on the borders of Scotland, where it was necessary he 
should sometimes retreat, and where Sir Lancelot hired land for the 
convenience of the shepherds who accompanied him. he was frequently, 
though very secretly, visited both by the good knight and the affec- 
tionate mother." Thus the child grew up, in the rank of a simple 
shepherd — deprived of the titles and the possessions to which his noble 
descent entitled him ; separated from a society in which he might have 
become a distinguished figure ; denied the pleasures and the luxuries 
pertaining to noble rank ; inured — happily, tlie experience began early — 
to hardships and privations ; and, last of all, untaught, bereft of all 
book-knowledge — Nature his only instructor. Yet we need not believe 
his to have been an unhappy life. Pleasure purer, truer than that of 
gay court or boisterous hall, must have been his. Tending his flock in 
the shadow of some stately tree, when around him lay all that beauty, 
that grandeur which has given to the shires of Cumberland and West- 
morland a world-wide fame ; — or watcliing at night under heavens 
radiant with light of moon and stars, — in circumstances such as these 


there could be no place for unhappiness ia the heart of one innately 
observant. Wordsworth says : — 

" Our Clifford was a happy youth. 
And thankful through a weary time, 
That brought him up to manhood's prime. 
Again he wanders forth at will, 
And tends a flock from hill to hill : 
His garb was humble ; ne'er was seen 
Such garb with such a noble mien ! 
Among the shepherd grooms no mate 
Hath he, a child of strength and state ! 
Yet lacks not friends for solemn glee, 
And a cheerful company, 
That learned of him submissive ways. 
And comforted his private days. 
To his side the fallow deer 
Came, and rested without fear ; 
The eagle, lord of land and sea, 
Stooped down to pay him fealty. 
» * » * * 

He knew the rocks which angels haunt 
On the mountains visitant ; 
He hath kenned them taking wing : 
And the caves where fairies sing 
He hath entered ; and been told 
By voices how men lived of old. 
Among the heavens his eye can see 
Face of thing that is to be ; 
And, if men report him right, 
He could whisper words of might." 

For twenty-five years Clifibrd continued in concealment, living the 
life of a shepherd, acquainted only with the company and the manners of 
shepherds. But he was not destined to run the length of his days in 
this obscurity. Another, a nobler part was fated for him. In 1485 
was fought the decisive battle of Bosworth, in which Richard III. was 
slain. With this battle the Wars of the Roses, which had lasted for 
thirty years, during which time, it is said, no fewer than 100,000 of the 
gentry and common people were slain, were brought to a close. The 
union of the opposing factions was effected by the marriage of Henry 
VIL, the succeeding king, with the Px'incess Elizabeth, daughter of 
Edward IV., in 1486. In his "Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle," 
Wordsworth thus refers to the union of the Roses : — 

•• From town to town, from tower to tower, 
The red rose is a gladsome flower ; 
Her thirty years of winter past. 
The red rose is revived at last ; 


She lifts her head for endless spring, 

For everlasting blossoming : 

Both roses flourish, red and white. 

In love and sisterly delight 

The two that were at strife are blended. 

And all old troubles now are ended. " 

In the first year of Henry VII.'s reign, Henry Clifford, now emerged 
from his concealment among the fells of Cumberland, petitioned for 
restitution of his estates and titles : — 

" In most humble and lowly wise beseecheth yo'r highnes yo'r true subject and 
faithfull liegman Henry Clifford, eldest sonne to John late Lord Clifford, that when 
the same John, amongst other persons, for the true service and faithful legiance w'ch 
he did and owed to King Henry the Sixt, yo'r uncle, in the Parliament at West- 
mynster, the fourth day of November, in the first yeare of King Edward the Fourth, 
was attainted and convicted of high treason ; and by the same act yt was ordained that 
the said John, late lord, and his heires from thenceforth should be disabled to have, 
hould, inherite, or enioy any name of dignity, estate, or preheminence, within the 
realmes of England, Ireland, Wales, Calice, or the Marches thereof, and should 
f orfaite all his castles, manors, landes, &c. , he desireth to be restored. To the w'ch 
petic'on the king, in the same parliam't, subscribeth, 

" Soitfaiie come est desier. " 

The result of Clifford's petition is stated in a document at present 
among the Castle Evidences, In the first year of Henry VII. it 
was enacted — "That the Acte of Attaynder or forfeiture made in 
any Parliament holden in the tyme of King Edward IV. againste John 
late Lo: Clifford and his heires shold be against Henry and his heires 
utterly voyd, and that the said Henry should be restored to all Castles, 
Manners, lands, &c., forfeyted by the said Acte or Actes in such manner, 
and fourme, lyke estate, and in as ample and availeable wise as the said 
John had the same or as the said Henry mighto have had the same if 
the said Acte of Attaynder had never been made," and further, " that the 
said Henry and his heires mighte enter as well upon the kinge poss'on as 
uppon the poss'on of any other p'son into all the said premisses in the 
same Acte to him restored, and so to have, hold, occupie and enjoie the 
same for ever without any other suite for the same or any parte thereof 
to be had or made out of the kinge, lande by peticon, livery, ouster 
lemaiue, or otherwise, after the course of the comon lands." 

The poet Wordsworth supposes a banquet at Lord Henry's castle at 
Brougham in honour of his restitution to the paternal domains, and he 
writes : — 

" How glad is Skipton at this hour. 
Though she is but a lonely tower ! 
To vacancy and silence left ; 
Of all her guardian sons bereft — 


Knight, squire, or yeoman, page or groom, 
We have them at the feast of Brough'm. 
How glad Pendragon— though the sleep 
Of years be on her !— She shall reap 
A taste of this great pleasure, viewing 
As in a dream her own renewing. 
Rejoiced is Brough, right glad I deem 
Beside her little humble stream ; 
And she that keepeth watch and ward 
Her statlier Eden's course to guard ; 
They both are happy at this hoiur, 
Though each is but a lonely tower ; — 
But here is perfect joy and pride 
For one fair house by Emont's side 
This day distinguished without peer 
To see her master and to cheer 
Him, and his lady mother dear !" 

Lord Henry was thirty-one years of age when he entered into posses- 
sion of his estates. His elevation was not followed by any marked 
change of disposition. The humility and modesty which were fostered 
bv long seclusion continued characteristic of him. He was sadly aware 
of his educational deficiencies, and wisely he at once set about to 
improve himself. Retiring to one of the most sequestered spots upon his 
estates, Barden Lodge, which he enlarged, he studied sedulously with 
the monks of the adjacent priory of Bolton. Astrology and alchemy 
were favourite studies. His liking for the former, his life as a shepherd 
perhaps engendered. '' His early habits, and the want of those artificial 
measures of time which even shepherds now possess, had given him a 
turn for observing the motions of the heavenly bodies ; and having 
purchased such an apparatus as could then be procured, he amused and 
informed himself by those pursuits, with the aid of the canons of Bolton, 
some of whom are said to have been well versed in what was then known 
of the science." * 

" His daily teachers had been woods and rills, 
The silence that is in the starry ski/. " 

Here at Barden Lord Cliff'ord passed many years in peaceful study — 
content and happy without courtly pomp and gaiety. Very infrequent 
indeed were his visits to the capital. Lady Anne Clifford says of him 
that he was " a plain man, who lived for the most part a country life, 
and came seldom either to court or to London, excepting when called to 
Parliament, on which occasion he behaved himself like a wise and good 

* Whitaker, p. 252. 



English nobleman." Much is often made of this lord's illiterateness at 
the time of his restoration, and he seldom receives justice at the hands 
of writers. Hartley Coleridge* well remarks, that because he was 
illiterate " it does not follow that he was ignorant. He might know 
many things well worth knowing without being able to write his name. 
He might learn a great deal of astronomy by patient observation. Ho 
might know where each native flower of the hills was grown, what real 
qualities it possessed, and what occult powers the fancy, the fears, or the 
■wishes of men had ascribed to it. The haunts, habits, and instincts of 
animals, the notes of birds, and their wondrous architecture, were to him 
instead of books ; but above all he learned to know something of what 
man is, in that condition to which the greater number of men are born, 
and to know himself better than he could have done in his hereditary 


Upon one very notable occasion Lord Clifford issued from liis retreat, 
and separated himself from the studies he loved so well. When sixty 
years old he led a force of Craven yeomen to battle on Flodden Field. 
In that engagement he had a principal command, and helped materially 
to turn tlae fortunes of the day so signally in favour of the ]<]nglisli 

' Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire. 


arms. Clifford had, indeed, once before led his men against the 
Scots, when their king invaded England. This was in 1497-8. At 
the battle of Flodden, the Earl of Surrey was chief commander, 
and after him, says Hall, " followed other noblemen out of all quarters 
of y® north, everye of them brynging as many men as theye coulde 
gather for the defence of their naturall countrey and region. Emongest 
whome the chiefs rulers and leaders were — John Lord Scrope, Henry 
lord Clifford, William Lord Conyers," &c., &c. Lord Clifford married 
first Anne, daughter of Sir John St. John, of Bletsho, in Bedfordshire, 
by whom he had three sons and several daughters; the latter dying 
in infancy. His second wife was Florence, daughter of Henry Pudsey, 
of Bolton, the widow of Sir Thomas Talbot, of Bashall, and the future 
wife — for she married a third time— of Richard, third son of the 
Marquis of Dorset. By his second wife Henry had one daughter. His 
parental life, it is to be feared, was unhappy. His eldest son, Henry, 
caused him much sorrow by his wild and extravagant conduct. He died 
April 23rd, 1523, at the ripe age of 70 years— loved among his 
dependents, and honoured among his peers. 


Founder of Skipton Free Grammar School. 

Everybody acquainted with Skipton knows that it is fortunate enough 
to possess a Grammar School of ancient and valuable endowment. It 
was founded by William Ermysted, who during his later years was 
Canon Residentiary of St. Paul's, London, and Chaplain to Queen Mary. 
The birth-place and the birth-year of Ermysted are as yet un- 
ascertained, for he must have been born at least half-a-century before 
the keeping of parochial registers was ordered by law. Even if Skipton 
cannot with any degree of probability lay claim to Ermysted as one of 
her sons, there can be little doubt that the good man was born in 
Craven. With Skipton he was evidently very familiar long before he 
was minded to found a school here ; and for Skipton, as the event 
proved, he all along evidently cherished feelings of affection. 

The conjecture cannot be called an improbable one that gives the 
neighbourhood of Giggleswick the honour of being the scene upon 
which the earliest years of Ermysted were spent. Certain it is that 
from that neighbourhood many families of the name under its different 
guises— Armistead, Armitstead, and the like— have issued. Several 


* Armytsteds' are named in the will, dated 1549, of one 'Thomas Car, 
of Staykus,' and a Robert Armistead was one of the " septem discretiores 
homines" who were elected first governors of Giggleswick Grammar 
School in 1553. Nevertheless, all is surronnded by uncertainty. 

The name of William Ermysted has been found at no earlier a date 
than 1527. By that time he had travelled pretty extensively, and had 
at a foreign University received the degree of Master of Arts. With 
the advantages and the experience gained by foreign travel Ermysted in 
1527 sought admittance to the University of Oxford. The University 
register thus records his incorporation : — •'' 9 July, 1527. Had leave to 
incorporate Mr. William Armystede. J/r.* in artibus in partibus 
transma7'inis creatur on condition of disputation and preaching in the 
church of St. Peter in the East." Five months later we again find 
reference to the student ' from beyond the seas ' in the same register ; 
for he was then created Bachelor of Divinity. For six years Ermysted 
is lost sight of. We may be sure, however, that those years, spent as 
they would most probably be at the University, were pleasant ones for the 
student, and that it would be with real regret that at last he left the 
classic halls of Oxford. That in later years he looked upon his con- 
nection with the University with pleasure may be inferred from the fact 
that Oxford is among his legatees. 

In 1533 we find William Ermysted rector of Fryerning, in Essex. 
But he did not continue long here, only fifteen months, — March 12th, 
1533, to June 17th, 1534, — when he resigned. In 1535 Ermysted 
became vicar of Birstal, near Leeds. A year afterwards he was rector 
of Adel, where in February, 1537, he was followed by another of his 
name. Birstal and Leeds received well at the hands of this benefactor, 
for in each of these places he either founded or aided in the founda- 
tion of a school. In June of the year 1539, William Ermysted 
was collated to the Neasdon prebend of St. Paul's, London, a 
position which three centuries later the wise and witty Rev. Sydney 
Smith held. While a Canon of St, Paul's, Ermysted did not, wo find, 
accept passively certain ecclesiastical statutes drawn np in an earlier 
time by Wolsey, Warham, and Fitzjames. " In Dean Cole's time," 
1556-58, we learn from the Rev. Dr. Simpson's Registrum Statutorum 
8. PauU, " Mr. Armestead (and he was an Auncient Resident from 
King Henry's time to Queen Marie and a lawier) protested to 
Bishop Bonner against" the statutes of Wolsey. He also protested 

'' Magister. 


against "Warham's and Fitzjames's Statutes, declaring that they 
had never as far as he knew been observed by any of their 
predecessors." In one of his proclamations our Craven ecclesiastic is 
thus referred to by Bishop Bonner :—" Feb. 15, 1554.— Edmund, by 
the suiferance of God, Bishop of London, sendeth greeting in our Lord 
God everlasting. — Whereas our visitation, late begon, and exercised within 
our Cathedral Church of St. Paul's in London appears .... that 
before this time, diverse and sundry contentions, variances, strifes, and 
debates have been mooved, stirred, and long time dep^ending between our 
well-beloved brethren in Christ, Mr. John Feckenham, B.D., and is now 
Deane of the said Cathedral Church of St. Paul, and his predecessors, 
late Deanes of the same Church of the one partye, and Mr. William 
Ermesteade and Mr. Gabriel Donne, Canon Pv,esidentiaries and Hagiaries 

of the said Cathedral Church of the other part "We 

pronounce, award, decree, and judge that as well the said Mr. John 
Feckenham, now Dean, as the said Mr. William Ermesteade and Gabriel 
Donne, Ptcsidentiaries, shall give a corporal oath upon the Evangelists, 
well and truly to observe and keep this our order, agreement and 
mutual composition during their times." 

Nearly three years after Ermysted's elevation to a prebendary of St. 
Paul's he appears to have been instituted rector of Kislingbnry, in 
Northamptonshire. In Baker's History of that county the name thus 
occixrs in the catalogue of rectors of Kislingbury : — "11 Feb., 1541. — 
William Ermestede, or Armstede. He was afterwards D.D., and one of 
the Masters in Chancery, and vicar of All Saints, in Northampton, from 
1545 to 1550." Kislingbury is thus mentioned in Ermysted's will : — 
" I bequethe to the Brest that shall be my Successor and person of the 
Rectory, Kyslyngebury, for delapidacons, if there be any found there xk, 
and my best fether bede, w* the boulster covering, blanketts, sheete, 
and bede stede, w* the appurten'nce therto belonging, and if he will not 
be contentyd herew^all then to have no penney nor halfpenney." At 
Kislingbury Ermysted spent his last years. The degree of Doctor of 
Divinity was probably conferred upon him about the year 1545. It was 
two years after this that Edward VI. succeeded Henry VITI. on the 
English throne. Under that king Ermysted rose high in favour, though 
Bonner, Bishop of London, referred to before, was soon cast into prison. 
Here he remained until the accession of Mary in 1553. Upon the very 
day of her accession, " came out of the Marsalsay [Marshalsea], the old 
bysshop of London, Bonar, and dyvers bysshopes bring him home into 
ys plasse at Powlles." From Strype's "Ecclesiastic Memorials" we 


learn that "Bonner, soon after the Queen's accession to the throne, 
complained to her that he had been unjustly and contrary to the law- 
deprived The Queen appointed several Judges delegates to 

examine the whole cause, and to countenance the business the more, 
many persons of the greatest honour and quality were joined with 
civilians as delegates : their names as they were set down in the 
instrument were as follows : — John Tregonnel, and William Eoper, 
Esqrs. ; David Pole, Archdeacon of Darby; Anthony Draycot, Arch- 
deacon of Hants ; Gilbert Bourne, Archdeacon of Bedford ; Wilham 
Cook, JefFery Glin, and Henry Cole, LL.D., and William Ermsted, Canon 
of the Cathedral Church of St. PauVs, London, together with William, 
Marquis of Winchester; Henry, Earl of Arundel; Edward, Earl of 

Darby, &c In fine, after several hearings, the sentence of 

deprivation was pronounced null and void by Dr. Tregonnel, who was 
soon after knighted for his pains in behalf of Bishop Bonner." 

Canon Ermysted appears to have continued in London only a year 
after the re-elevation of Bonner to the bishopric of that city, for in 
Le Neve's Fasti Ecdesice Anglice his name occurs in the list of Canons of 
Windsor appointed by the Queen : — " William Ermested, appointed by 
patent 20 June, 1554, on the resignation of Nicholas Udall." A 
translation of this royal patent, which is to be seen at the Kecord 
Office, will be of interest : — " In favour of William Ermested. The 
Queen to all whom, &c., health. Know that we of our special favour, 
and with full knowledge and of our own free will, have given and 
granted, and by these presents do give and grant to our beloved chaplain 
William Ermested, bachelor of divinity, the canonry and prebend in our 
college of the blessed Mary and St. George the Martyr near our castle 
of Windsor, now vacant by the resignation of Nicholas Udall, clerk, 
and subject to our appointment and gift, the canonry and prebend 
aforesaid, with all their rights and appurtenances, to be had, held and 
enjoyed by the aforesaid William Ermested during his life, in as ample 
mode and form as Nicholas Udall lately had and enjoyed the same. In 
token of which, &c. Declared by the queen at Westminster, the 20th 
day of June. By patent of the privy seal," ko. Ermysted was at one 
time Master of the Temple, in London, but the precise date it is 
impossible to give. In his will he remembers this connection. " I do 
give and bequethe," he says, " to iiij Prests and one Gierke singing and 
serving in the Temple Church, in London, to singe Placebo dirge and 
Masse of Requiem for my Soule and all Xxen Soulcs at the daye of my 
burial] or as nighe that daye as they conveniently canne or maye, to 


every of them five iij'- iiij^'-, and to the Clarke more ij^- to hyer ringers 
to ringe the belles there." 

Ermysted lived until October, 1558, and dying at Kislingbury -was 
buried there. The register of the church records his interment : — 

" 1558.— William Ermsted (parson) was buryed the last day of October." 

The will of Canon Ermysted contains several interesting passages. 
" For as muche as most certen it is that every mane is mortall and 
subiecte vnto deathe, and the tyme and houer of deathe is to mane most 
vnc'tayn," the ecclesiastic begins, " therefore as me semethe it is the 
poynte and also the dewtie of a X'yen mane to forese and p'vent all those 
things that myght in any wyse tro'ble, desquiet, or ocupye the mynde of 
man, Especially when dethe w* his vnvoydable dart shall approche and 
assaulte hym, so that then he may holly fyx and fasten his mynde and 
holly and only be ocupyed and myndfull of the most excelent mercy and 
goodnes of Gode w'^'^ he hathe shewed vnto all mankynde, and especiallye 
vnto truly repenting Synns through the deathe and most pious blonde of 
his derly beloved sonn Chryst Jesus, y^ Redem. and Saviour, and for as 
muche as the ordering and disposition of vyle and transetory thinges 
whoo vse God of his singler goodness graunted vnto Man for a tyme 
doth trouble and desquiet, being deferred unto the latter tyme, the 
minde and soule of mane that it cannot intierlye & holly then thinck 
& fullye call vpon Godes most hyghe benifyts & infinite Mercy, 
wherein he ought most chefly to be myndfull of and to take most 
cumfort and consolacon in them, Wherefor being at this tyme, that is the 
xxijti daye of December in the yere of o^' Lord God 1556, and in the iij 
and iiij*'' yere of the Reigne of Kyng Phillipe and Queue Mary, / 
WiUiam Ermsted, Clarke, of good and quiet mynde and helthe of body, 
rendering to God's hono^ and glory most high and bountyfull thanks for 
the same, do make and ordeyn this my last Will and Testament in 
manner and forme following : Fyrst, I do bequethe & most hartely 
commend and give my Sowle vnto Almighty God, the Father of all 
consolacon and Creator of all things visyble and invisyble, which hathe 
given most mercifullye only by his m'cy grace and favour his most derly 
beloved sonne Jesus Christ even vnto dethe of the Cross for the 
redempcon and eternal Salvacon of all mankynd. And to my Sav^" Jesus 
Christ bothe Gode and mane, for he is the very treu Saveur and Lord of 
it, for by his most bytter and paynfull dethe he hathe most justly 
purchased and delivered it from the captivitie of the divell, deathe, and 
hell, so that I ame not myne owne but ame his bothe body and sowlle, 


and in hym and by hym I do beleve by Gode's m'cy at the great daye 
of his iudgment to obteyne the glory of Gode and eternall lyf bothe Soul 
and bodye, And to the Holy Gost god eternall, equall w* the father and 
to the Sonne, Graunter and giver of all divine and godly gyfts, the 
Cumforter of the weacke and feble in all adversities and tribulacons. 
Also I comytt my Sowle unto the blessed Virgin Marye, Mother of 
Christe, both god and mane, the chosen and elected Vessell for that 
purpas by God's eternall p'destinacon, and to the blessed and glorious 
Company of Angells, to the holly Patriarchs & prophettes, Apostells, 
martyrs. Confessors, and virgins, most humbly beseching Almightie God 
througe the p'cious and most meritorious deathe of Christ that they 
w* me and I w* them maye bothe body and Sowle after the last daye 
come vnto the to haue and enioye the inestimable and imcomp'hensibill 
fruicon and sight of his immortall Magestie and divine god hede." 
Ermysted desires that his body may be "buried w*n the Pan-ishe 
Churche wher it shall please Gode to take me to his Mercy from this 
transetory lyf vnto the lyf of his Kingdom v;<^^ never shall have ende, 
And if I do departe this transetory lyf wtin the Citie of London, then I 
will my body to be buried wtin the Cathedrall Chui'che of S*- Paule, in 
London, w*in the Chappell of Saynt Katherin ther. And for my grave 
ther I do bequethe vnto the Deane and Chapter xP- & for one 
Epitaphe to be sett in a stone vppou my grave xl«- I will that at my 
buriall be sonnge and sayed Placebo dirge and Masse of Requiem and all 
other suffrage and prayers for the deade as the Catholique Churche dothe 
vse, & for that I do bequethe to the Ministers ther in S*- Paules Churche 
viij^ to be distributed amonnge the Petti Cannons, vicares, choristers, 
vergers, and others at the discrecon of myn Executors at the daye of 
my buriall iiij^- and at the monthes day iiij^ of the said viij*- Item, I 
will that ther be a Sermonde preached at my buriall, and the precher 
to have xx^- for his laboure. Item, I bequethe vnto iiij poo"^ men iiij 
blacke gowns to accumpany my bodye to the Churche, and to helpe to 

bcre my corpes, and to houlde iiij gret tapers of wax And 

my will is that iiij of the poorest men hi Crede Lane, London, shall 
have those iiij gownes whersoev my body be buriede, to praye for 
my Sowle." 

After ordering gifts to the poor persons who may attend his funeral, 
and to his servants, Ermysted bequeaths to the " Prest who shall 
chauncc to be my last Confessor and gostly father my best gowne of 
blacke clothe," and to the ** Prest that shall be my Successor & person 
of the Rectory, Kyslyngebury, for delapidacons if there be any found 


ther, xl«- and my best fether bede w* the boulster, covering, blanketts, 
sheete, and bede stede, w* the ajjpurtennce therto belonging," but he 
orders that if with these gifts the rector is not contented he must then 
"have no penney nor half-penney. " As to executors, he says: — "Of 
this my last Will and Testament, I do make and ordeyn my Executors 
Sir Edwarde Turner, Clarke, and Person of Fynchley, & James Colons, 
of Yslington, and for their lab""^ and payns taken in this my neadfull 
busness I do give to ev'y of them ij p'sons vij^ and their costs and 
charges of any chaunce to use or be made, to be taken & leved of my 
goods." Several gifts to Yorkshire people he orders : among them to 
" Will'm Shotte, of Yllehaye, to helpe to bringe upe his children," and 
to " Henry Runthawt, of Leedes." 

It is not improbable that the James Colons, of Islington, named as 
one of Ermysted's executors, was a native of Skipton. In a volume of 
" Yorkshire fines " occurring about the year 1533, appears the name of 
" James Colons, of Skipton-in-Craven," and twenty-seven years later one 
of that name was buried at Islington, where, on a tomb in the old parish 
church, may be seen the inscription : — " James Collyns, Deceased, 1560." 
May these indicate the same person 1 Ermysted, it will be remembered, 
died in 1558. 

In the preparation of the foregoing, a newspaper sketch written by 
Mrs. G. M. Patmore, of London, has been of much service. 

Buccaneer and Voyager. 

While the deeds of his warlike ancestors are recorded in military 
annals, the deeds of George, third Earl of Cumberland, find place in 
naval history. He was born at Brougham Castle, August 8th, 1558. 
" It was resolved by the judicious in that age," writes old Fuller, " the 
way to humble the Spanish greatness was not by pinching and pricking 
him in the Low Countries, which only emptied his veins of such blood 
as was quickly re-filled ; but the way to make it cripple for ever was by 
cutting off the Spanish sinews of war, his money from the West Indies. 
In order whereto this Earl set forth a small fleet at his own cost, and 
adventured his own person therein — being the best-born Englishman 
that ever hazarded himself in that kind." George Clifford was a very 


buccaneei'.* His school-education was well calculated to assist him in 
the sea-life which he chose to follow. Of mathematical studies he was 
passionately fond. " Thus it happened," says one, " that the ardent 
spirit and the boundless activity which afterwai'ds distinguished him 
took first a nautical turn, acquired an increased force by assuming a 
peculiar direction, and enhanced the charm of curiosity by adding to it 
the interest of science." Cumberland's first expedition was sent out in 
1586, when he had attained the age of twenty-eight years. This was to 
South America, but he did not accompany it. At his own cost the Earl 
fitted out three ships and a pinnace. They were the Red Dragon, 260 
tons, 130 men; the Clifford, 130 tons, 70 men; the Roe, and the 
pinnace Dorothy, which formerly belonged to Raleigh. The expedition 
was a total failure. In the following year the Earl himself sailed for 
Sluys, with the intention of aiding Sir Roger Williams in his defence of 
that place against the Duke of Palma ; but before his arrival it had 
surrendered. Clifford took a rather prominent part in the destruction 
of the Spanish Armada in 1588. He commanded the Elizabeth 
Bonaventure, and in one engagement especially, that ofl^ Calais, he 
greatly distinguished himself for ability and bravery. 

In the third report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission (1872), 
and also in Whitaker, is quoted the following despatch from the Earl to 
the High Treasurer relative to the engagement : — 

" To the ryght honorable my very good lo. the Lo. Hygh Tresorer of Ingland. 

"My Good Lo.,— ''20 Feb. 

" Upon a letter from her mai. eo'mandyng me to repare with my fleete to the rode 
of Callis, and to bryng w'th me all such shipps as I should fynd fitt to dooe hir servis 
ther, I comanded tooe shipp.s in the harbor of Porchmouth, and three at the Cowes, 
good shipps, and laden w'th nyne companyes of soulgerrs, out of France, to returne 
w'th me. Sir He. Poure, their coronell, writte me word that before ther cu'mynge 
from the Dounes the Spanyards aryvall at Callis was knowne, yett they were suffered 
to precede. Soe, doubting least I should dooe amisse, I have stayed them, to 
remayne where they be till further derection cum for them, w'ch I pray your lo. maye 
be sent, soe that they depend upon it. My selfe am nowe gooeinge towardes Douer, 
wher, if hir mai. have any thynge to co'mande me, I wil be redy to obey it. 

' ' Your lo, to co'mand, 

" George Cumbeeland. " 

Another letter to *' The ryght honorable Fi-ansis Walsy'gham, knyght, 

* " Among the naval adventuvers who clistinguisheil themselves during Queen Elizabeth's 
feign, there was no one who took to the seas so much in the spirit of a northern sea-king as the 
Earl of Cumberland."— 5^0MtAc2/. 


hir maiestyes scliyfe secritary," written October 29th, 1588, relates to 
the Spanish defeat : — 

" Sir, — Beinge at Plymouthe to water, I harde of a hulcke beten in by foule wether, 
by Hope, a toune xxiii myle from thence. She was one of the Spanyshe flyte, and it 
was reported the Ducke [the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the Spanish Admiral] was in 
hir, and great store of treasure ; wherfor I ridde thither with Mr. Gary and Mr. 
Harris, whoe then were w'th me, to knowe the truthe of it, where we founde no such 
thynge as was reported of the Ducke ; but a shippe suche and soe furnished as by an 
examination taken by hus and sent herew'th you may perseve. Mr. Gary stayeth at 
the place, to kepe hir from spoylynge of the cuntry-men till here youre further 
derection. This muche the have intreted me to macke knowne to you, and thus in 
hast I co'mitte you to God. " 

The Earl's conduct in the engagements with the Armada was so 
pleasing to Queen Elizabeth, that he received from her a commission to 
sail to the South Seas. The Golden Lion, one of the royal fleet, was 
placed at his service. This he fitted out at his own expense, and he 
took with him a number of English gentlemen. The expedition was 
unfortunate. Before he had got very far adverse winds compelled him 
to return, and he safely reached shore after enduring much suffering and 
passing through great danger. He did, however, seize a merchant-ship. 

The Earl obtained permission in 1589 to sail upon another expedition 
to the Spanish colonies, and again the Queen presented him with ships. 
The chief was the Victory, but three smaller vessels accompanied it. 
Still misfortune befell him. He reached the Azores in safety, and took 
the town of Fyal, which he plundered. But in a desperate encounter 
with a Brazilian ship, he was severely wounded, and he suffered also 
from an explosion which occurred on board the Victory. The expedition 
ended most disastrously. The vessel upon which a large amount of 
their plunder had been stowed was wrecked, and the crew almost without 
exception drowned. During the return voyage the Earl and the 
remainder of his men suffered most intensely from hunger and thirst, 
from which it is said more died than from any other cause. So terrible 
was their thirst that " when there fell any hail or rain the hailstones 
were gathered up and eaten more pleasantly than if they had been the 
sweetest comfits in the world. The rain-drops were so carefully saved 
that near as they could not one was lost in all the ship. Some licked 
with their tongues, like dogs, the boards under feet, the sides, rails, and 
masts of the ship ; others fixed girdles or ropes about the masts, daubing 
tallow between them and the masts, that the rain might not run down 
between, in such sort that at those ropes or girdles hanging lower down 
on one side than the other, a spout of leather was fixed to the lower part, 
that all the raindrops that came running down the mast might meet 


together at this place and there be received. Some also put bullets of 
lead into their mouths to slake their thirst." 

On December 2nd the survivors of this unhappy expedition landed in 
Bantry Bay. Notwithstanding his sad experience the Earl's love of 
adventure continued as keen as ever. In 1591 he equipped a fleet of 
five ships. They were the Garland, 600 tons, the Golden Noble, the 
Allegarta, the Sami^son, and the Discovery. His destination this time 
was the Mediterranean. Fortune frowned upon him yet again. It is 
true that he captured two Spanish ships of great value, but they were 
retaken, and a number of the English were taken prisoners. The fifth 
expedition which he fitted out, the Earl did not accompany. It con- 
sisted, like the last, of five ships — the Tiger, 600 tons, the Golden Noble, 
the Sampson, and two others. And now fortune favoured him. Three 
vessels, one Portuguese and two Spanish, were captured ; and the Earl's 
share of the prize-money amounted to £36,000. This sum was not, 
however, his full due, for the capture was valued at £150,000. Clifford's 
next adventure was also profitable. In 1593 he commanded a fleet of 
six vessels. He was not away long, for after capturing two valuable 
French ships the Earl was seized with illness, and he returned home. 
Three of his vessels thereupon sailed to the West Indies, and after 
several seizures, and a severe encounter with Spaniards, the crews 
landed in England in May of the following year. 

Before this fleet had returned the Earl had risen from his couch, to 
accompany the eighth expedition. His fleet comprised the Roijal 
Exchange, the Mayjloiuer, the Sampson, and two smaller ships. Early in 
April the expedition left Plymouth. Two months later they were in 
sight of St. Michael's, and immediately afterwards they came up with an 
Indian merchant-ship of 2,000 tons burden. Its name was the Cinco 
Chagas, and it was manned by Portuguese. A desperate engagement 
took place, for the Portuguese had " pledged themselves to each other 
that they would defend the ship to the last, and rather perish with her 
in the sea or in the flames, than surrender so rich a prize to the heretics." 
Thrice the carack was boarded by the English, but its crew fouglit with 
amazing bravery, and at last the ship was fired. The English then 
withdrew their boats, without endeavouring, it is said, to save any of the 
wretches who, fearing the flames, had thrown themselves into the sea. 
It is said, indeed, that they even slew those who came near their boats 
and pleaded to be taken in. According to the statement of tlie 
Portuguese, 500 persons perished with the carack, but the English 
affirmed that only fifteen out of 1,100 men were saved! After this 


dreadful occurrence, the Earl of Cumberland proceeded on his 
buccaneering cruise, and a month later fell in with another carack of 
enormous size. The English, in the name of the Queen of England, 
summoned her to surrender, but the only answer was a brave defiance. 
"We acknowledge Don Philip, King of Spain," said the Portuguese 
captain, " not the Queen of England," and the English might take the 
vessel if they could ! But the English did not take the carack ; after 
loss on both sides, they decided to give up the contest, and they sailed 
at once for England, having greatly harmed the enemy, without 
bringing themselves advantage. 

The Earl of Cumberland received many marks of favour from the 
Virgin Queen. He was one of the peers who sat in judgment upon the 
unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots, and in 1592 he was created Knight 
of the Garter. It is said that on his return from one of his voyages he 
had audience of the Queen. By accident or intent Elizabeth dropped 
her glove, and Clifford picked it up, and on his knees presented it to 
its royal owner. The Queen, however, graciously desired her courtier 
to keep it, and so proud was the Earl of this gift that he had it covered 
with diamonds, and on great occasions he wore it in his hat. In the 
tournament Clifford had no equal, and in all these exhibitions of skill 
and strength he was the Queen's champion. A ponderous suit of tilting- 
armour said to have belonged to this Earl is now kept at Appleby 
Castle. The helmet alone is almost too heavy for modern shoulders to 
support. From the helmet to the ground the measurement is five feet 
nine inches. 

In 1595 the Earl built, at his own expense, a noble vessel — "the best 
ship," says one, "that had ever been built by any subject" — which 
at the launch at Deptford the Queen christened The Scourge of 
Malice. With this and three small vessels he at once began another 
expedition, but he had not got far before he was recalled by the Queen. 
In 1597, however, he made his last voyage. His fleet of eighteen sail 
he commanded in person. But this expedition, which was intended to 
surpass all others in pecuniary success and in efiect as a maritime parade, 
proved the most disastrous of all. Upon the 6th of March the fleet 
sailed from the bay of Plymouth. Failing to meet with any returning 
caracks, the Earl directed his course to the Canary Islands, and " having 
been informed by some Spaniards, and by some of our own people who 
had been prisoners there, that there dwelt a marquis on the island of 
Lancerota whose ransom would be worth £100,000, he determined upon 
attempting to surprise him." Six hundred men were landed, but 


nothing of value was found. The fleet next called at Dominica, and in 
June left for the Virgin Islands. Uiion landing, we are told, the Earl 
deemed it proper to address his assembled forces upon the failure of 
their expedition hitherto, and upon their prospects for the future. His 
own words have been preserved. As to his expectation of meeting with 
Spanish caracks, he said : — " That hope is altogether past ; and now we 
are settled to another course," he continues, " which, though it may be 
will not prove altogether so rich, and must of force keep us longer 
abroad, yet I assure you, upon my honour and conscience, I do con- 
stantly believe there will spring out of it more glory to God, more 
service to our prince and country, and more honour to ourselves, than 
could have been done by the caracks if we had taken them all." 
Forthwith, the fleet sailed for Porto Rico. When within easy distance 
of this town, difficulty was experienced in the choice of a landing-place. 
At last the Earl pitched upon a bay, and he gave orders for all men to 
take to their boats. Some of his commaiiders objected that the march 
was too great, and that there was no guide. But the Earl's dauntless 
energy and courage overcame these objections. " Gentlemen," said he, 
" a willing mind makes long steps with great ease. I have been sick, 
and am not now strong ; you shall not go farther nor faster than I will 
do before you. For guides," he added, '* we need no better than our 
eyes." Answeinng the waverers, he assumed a tone of still greater con- 
fidence. " The Indian soldiers live too pleasantly to venture their lives ; 
they wiU make a great show, and perhaps endure one brunt ; but if they 
do any more, tear me to pieces ! " A landing was effected, and with the 
loss of half-a-hundred men the town was seized. The Earl himself very 
narrowly escaped death. By some misadventure his shield-bearer over- 
threw him into the sea, and by reason of his heavy armour he was 
unable to' rise. " It was not till a second attempt that the serjeant- 
major, who was next to him, succeeding in getting him out, and not till 
he had swallowed so much salt water as to cause such extremity of 
sickness that he was forced to lie down in the very place, till being- 
somewhat recovered he was able to be led to a spot of more ease, where 
the bullets made him threatening music on every side ; and there he 
remained till the end of the action, lying upon the ground ' veiy 
exceeding sick,' in a place so perilous that it would have been as safe to 
be at the entry of a breach by assault." * But the fort remained 
untakcn, and it was vigorously defended. The Spanish px'oposed to 
siUTcnder on condition that " with colours flying, match in their cocks, 

* Southey, from Purchae. 


and bullets in their mouths," they should be allowed to go whither they 
•would, and that " all prisoners should be delivered without ransom, and 
no man's negroes or slaves be detained." The Earl at once refused the 
overture, and with his own hand wrote the following offer of terms, 
which he despatched to the governor : — 

"A resolution which you may trust to. 

" I am content to give yourself and all your people their lives ; yourself and your 
captains and officers with your arms ; all the rest of your soldiers with their rapiers 
and daggers only. You shall all stay here with me till I give you passage from the 
island, which shall be witliin thirty days," &c. 

The conditions were accepted, and the island was handed over to the 
English. It was an unfortunate acquisition. Dreadful havoc was made 
in the ranks of the Earl's forces by disease. The half of his men died. 
The Earl then concluded that " it was not God's pleasure that this island 
as yet should be inhabited by the English," and he proposed to the 
Spaniards that they should ransom it. The Earl was, however, glad to 
get away without any ransom, and with only what wealth he could find 
in the island. With a fearfully decimated force, Cumberland sailed 
from Porto Rico, and after varied vicissitudes he reached England to 
tell a soiTowful tale of disappointed hopes. This was his last sea 

Among the Evidences of the Cliflford family at Bolton are many 
interesting compositions of this Earl. There is also a manuscript 
journal of the first expedition, evidently the composition of an inferior 
officer of one of the vessels. It is entitled "A Vyag pretendyd to 
the Indya, set foorth by the good earle of Cumberland, with two 
shyps and a pinnys, Mr. Wytheryngton beyng Captyn of the Ath- 
merall, and Mr. Lysster of the Vys Athmerall." An entry will serve 
to show with what cruelty the voyagers prosecuted their mission : — 

" Nov. 5. — Our men went on shor and fet rys [fetched rice] abord, and burnt the 
rest of the housys in the negers towne ; and our bot went downe to the outermoste 
pointe of the ryver, and burnt a toune, and brout away all the rys that was in the 

And then, after this horrible recital, come the amazing words^ — 

"The 6th day we sarvyd God, being Sunday I" 

CliflFord's maritime adventm*es, coupled with an otherwise extravagant 
course of life, kept the family coffers low, as may be gathered from the 


following petition sent in 1586 to "My very good Lord, the Lord 
Burghley, hey tresorer of Inglando " : — 

" My very good Lord, — 

" I have bene, as your Lo. well knov/ethe, longe tyme a suter to her Maiesty 
to bestowe sums suche benefit upon me as myght manyfest to the worled her good 
opinion, and macke me the better able to dooe her such servis as at any tyme she 
should have cause to com'and me, wch not longe sence she did, as I then thought, but 
beinge of late in the cuntri, where I should have receved the benefyt of hir gifte, I 
founde not any, but were ether unable or unwillynge to disburse presente muny, soe 
that I am assured not to be relived by that meanes, wch I then hoped, & her Mai. 
mente ; wherfore I none most earnestly desier that it would please hir Majesti to 
lende me tenne thousande pound. I will paye it agayne by a thousand pounde a yeare, 
and for the assurance ether paune such land as your Lo. shall lycke, or putt soe many 
jentellmen in bonde as shall be thought suffitient, and also resine up agayne her late 
gifte, wch wilbe more benefit to her then the losse of the mony canbe, and more 
profitt to me then tooe suche sutes, my dayes of payement beinge soe neare, and the 
forfetures greate, wch I shall faule into if I be not relived by your Lo. good meanes 
in this, as I thyncke, my resonable sute, wch I will your Lo. beste advice and 
furtherance. I proteste never to be forgetfull of any favor you shall bestoue upon 

"From the Courte, this xxiii of September. 

" Your Lo. most assured Frynd, 

" George Cumbreland." 

Clifford seems to have obtained his request. 

As a soldier the Earl is well spoken of " His fleet," says quaint 
Fuller, in words perhaps a little too flowery, " may be said to be bound 
for no other port but the port of honour, though touching at the port of 
profit in passage thereto : * I say touching, whose design was not 
to enrich himself, but impoverish the enemy. He was as merciful as 
valiant (the best metal bows best) ; and left impressions of both in all 
places where he came." " He was a man of admirable abilities," says 
another writer, " both in civil and military aff'airs. He knew how to 
fight and as well how to govern, and had virtues capable of rendering 
him illustrious both in war and peace. He was so excellent a person 
that it can hardly be said what was wanting in him ; but still there was 
a very considerable thing wanting him — namely, a steady gale of good 
fortune. He did not come off in his enterprises so well rewarded as he 
desired to be. Considering the vast expenses he was at in building, 
hiring, and furnishing of ships, perhaps his voyages did not increase his 

* The Earl evidently dabbled in commerce. About the year 1574 Queen Elizabeth granted 
him a licence fur tlie term of ten years " to shii) or cause to bo shipi)ed for exportation all 
manner of woollen cloths manufactuicd in England, except only in the counties of Kent and 


estate." By no means; but I apprehend that naval expeditions were 
not the sole cause of his diminished revenues. There is too much 
reason to believe that he had far more questionable characteristics than 
love of adventure. " If we trace him in the public history of his 
times," remarks Whitaker, " we see nothing but the accomplished 
courtier, the skilful navigator, the intrepid commander, the disinterested 
patriot. If we follow him into his family, we are instantly struck with 
the indifferent and unfaithful husband, the negligent and thoughtless 
parent. If we enter his muniment-room, we are surrounded by 
memorials of prodigality, mortgages and sales, inquietude, and approach- 
ing want.* He set out with a larger estate than any of his ancestors, 
and in little more than twenty years he made it one of the least. " 

The Earl died, at the early age of 47 years, in 1605.t His daughter, 
Lady Anne Clifford, erected a monument to him in Skipton church. 
With all his faults, and assuredly he had many, and some of them of a 
deep hue, it must be admitted that this Earl was a man of surpassing 
ability and valour as a naval commander, and that although influenced in 
a measure by motives of personal aggrandizement, he was actuated also 
by pure patriotism in undertaking his many maritime expeditions. Nor 
was he entirely destitute of the gentler qualities. He was a patron of 
literature, and Spenser for one received his countenance. Let us be 
charitable to his memory. Let us take the old poet's counsel : — 

" Be to his virtues very kind, 
Be to his faults a little hlind." 

What Johnson said of Goldsmith may be said of this Clifford : — " Let 
not his frailties be remembered : — he was a very great man.'' 

Countess of Pembroke. 

This worthy lady has occupied a place in many biographies — both con- 
temporary and of modern date — of notable Englishwomen. Before 

* See pages 196-8. 

t His burial is thus recorded in the Skipton parish register :—" October, 1605.— The 
xxxth departed this lyfe George, Eai'le of Cumbrelande, Lord Clifforde, Vipounte, and Vessie, 
Lord of the honor of Skipton in Craven, knyghte of the most noble order of the Garter, one 
of his highnes priuie councell, Lord Warden of the citie of Carlell, and the West Marches, and 
was honorably buried at Skipton the xxixth of December, and his ffunerall was solemnized the 
xiiith daie of Marche next then flolowinge." 


glancing at the main features of her exemplary career, it will not be out 
of place to give the opinion of one who wrote during her lifetime. In 
his account of the worthies of Westmorland, Fuller saj^s : — " This lady is 
placed not where she first took life, but where she hath left a most 
lasting monument of her love to the public. This is that most beautiful 
hospital, stately biiilt, and richly endowed, at her sole cost, at Appleby, 
in this county. It was conceived a bold and daring part of Thomas 
Cecil (son to treasurer Burleigh) to enjoin his masons and carpenters not 
to omit a day's work at the building of Wimbleton house in Surrey, 
though the Spanish Armada, anno 1588, all that while shot off their 
guns, whereof some might be heard to the place. But Christianly 
valiant is the charity of this lady, who in this age, wherein there is an 
earthqviake of ancient hospitals, and as for new ones they are hardly to 
be seen for new lights ; I say, courageous this worthy lady's charity, who 
dare found in this confounding age, wherein so much was demolished and 
aliened which was given to God and His church. Long may she live in 
wealth and honour, exactly to complete whatsoever her bountiful inten- 
tions have designed." 


Lady Anne Clifford was born at Skipton Castle, January 30th, 1590» 
and was the daughter of George Earl of Cumberland and Margaret 
Russell, daughter of the Earl of Bedford. The inscription on the family 
picture says that the lady " was about 9 weeks old when she was brought 
out of Skipton Castle towards London, whoare and in the sothern p'ts 


she continued to live for the most p't till shee was maried. When she 
cam to be 5 yeers and 8 months old, which weare just the age hir 2 
brothers [Francis and Robert] died at, she had a most desperat sick- 
nes, so as she was given over for dead (as also 1604), and in hir child- 
hood shee narrowly escaped death by water and fier and other great 
dangers, for God miraculously preserved hir life." As to her personal 
appearance, Lady Anne's own record will be the surest authority : — " T 
was very happy in my first constitution, both in mind and body ; both 
for internal and external endowments ; for never was there a child more 
entirely resembling both father and mother then myself The colour of 
mine eyes was black, like my father's, and the form and aspect of them 
was quicke and lively, like my mother's. The hair of my head was 
brown and very thick, and so long that it reached to the calf of my legs 
when I stood upright ; with a peak of hair on my forehead, and a dimple 
on my chin ; and an exquisite shape of body, like my father." Of her 
" internal endowments" the lady says : — *' Though I say it, the 
perfections of my mind were much above those of my body. I had a 
strong and copious memory ; a sound judgment and a discerning spirit : 
and so much of a strong imagination in me as at many times even my 
dreams and apprehensions proved to be true." 

Lady Anne was blessed in having at least one pious parent. Under 
the nurturing care of her good mother she grew up in every respect a 
sensible young lady, amiable, benevolent, religious. Indeed, to the wise 
counsel and the good example she received from her noble parent during 
a happy youth and maidenhood, must we attribute those Christian graces 
which so signally adorned her character in maturer years, and which 
stamped her with a nobility higher, gi-ander than that of rank or hneage. 
Just is that reverence with which Lady Anne constantly speaks of her 
mother : " My good and pious mother," " My blessed mother," we find 
her writing. 

Lady Anne's governess was one Mistress Taylor, a respectable 
instructor, and her tutor the poet Daniel — styled " the well-languaged 
Daniel." Daniel carefully fostered the lady's literary tastes, and was 
worthily held in high esteem by his apt student, to whom, when in her 
thirteenth year, he addressed a poetical epistle, in which he gave wise 
counsel, that could not fail to have good effect upon one so thoughtful : — 

" To the Lady Anne Clifford. 

" With so great care doth she that hath brought forth 
That comely body labour to adorn 
That better part, the mansion of your mind, 


With all the richest furniture of worth 
To make ye highly good as highly born, 
And set your virtues equal to your kind. 

She tells you how that honour only is 
A goodly garment set on fair deserts, 
Wherein the smallest stain is greatest seen. 
And that it cannot grace unworthiness ; 
But more apparent shows defective parts, 
How gay soever they are deck'd therein. 

She tells you, too, how that it bounded is 
And kept enclosed with so many eyes, 
As that it cannot stray and break abroad 
Into the private ways of carelessness ; 
Nor ever may descend to vulgarise 
Or be below the sphere of her abode : 
But, like to these supernal bodies set 
Within their orbs, must keep the certain course 
Of order, destin'd to their proper place : — 

Such are your holy bounds, who must convey 
(If God so please) the honourable blood 
Of Clifford and of Russell, led aright 
To many worthy stems, whose offspring may 
Look back with comfort, to have had that good 
To spring from such a branch that grew s' upright : 
Since nothing cheers the heart of greatness more 
Than the ancestor's fair glory gone before." 

The young lady must have been precocious indeed if she could read 
the books shown in the Clifford Picture, where she is represented as a 
girl of thirteen ; for among them are St. Augustine, Eusebius, Josephus, 
Sir Philip Sidney's ' Arcadia,' Ovid's Metamorphoses, as well as philo- 
sophical works in English, and the early English poets. It was 
customaiy at this time to introduce books — of whatever nature their 
contents — with a text of scripture or a pious wish. In oue of the private 
books of the lady are the following lines, supposed to have been 
written by Daniel, her tutor : — 

" To wish and will it is my part, 
To yow, good lady, from my hart. 
The yeares of Nestor God yow send, 
W'th happynes to your life's end." * 

The father of Lady Anne died when she was scarcely sixteen years of 
age, and upon his death ensued that great law-suit which closed only 

* Another instance of this practice I find in an account-book of one of the Clifford stewards, 
temp. ICIC, where upon the first page occur the words :— " C!od blesse me and uiy laborcs.— Wm. 
Taylor." In Lady Ahho's own writiiig I find the following rather quaintly worded order to one 
of her foresters :— " My will and plesure is that you sliall kill one very fatt warantable buck as 
soune as you can possililey, and send or bring him and dtilover him at my house in Skipton, and 
this shall be yor warrent mi the Lord Jcnus Cluisl.—A^tiE Pembivooke." 


with the death of the Earl's second successor in title. The Clifford 
Picture lets us further into the history of the lady's youth. "The 
22nd of July, 1607, this young La., with the Count., hir Moother, cam 
from London to Apleby Castle, in Westmoland, to ly theare for a while, 
it being the first tyme the La. Ann Clifford cam into West™**-' or so far 
Northward. And then they went into Brougha. and Brough. and 
Pendragon Castles in that county. The 8 of that Octob., 1607, they 
cam out of Apleby Castle in Westmorland towardes London, and they 
weare nevear both together in Apleby Castle after. The 22 day of 
that October, 1607, they cam to the geats of Skipton Castle, but weare 
denied entrance into it, by reason of the suits in Law betweene them 
and Fran, then E. of Cumbe. ; it being the last tyme that the sayd 
Countes Dowagr of Cumberland was neer that Castle, or in hir Almes 
House theare, which she founded. This Lady Ann Clifford in hir 
childhood at severall tymes lived much in Lillford House, in Northampt., 
with old Mr. Elmes and his wife, who was Aunt to hir Moother by the 
blood of the St. Johns, wheare this La. A. C. was seasoned with 
goodness and love of a private country life, which ever after continued 

in hir Shee was blessed by the education and tender 

care of a most affectionate, deare, and excellent mother, who brought 
her up in as much Religion, goodnes, and knowledg as hir seakts and 
yeares were capabell of. Shee was also happy by being beloved in hir 
child whood by Q. Elizab., and in hir youth by Q. Ann." 

Lady Anne married in February, 1609, when just nineteen years of 
age, Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset, who proved a most unworthy 
husband. He was a man of great ability, but of very loose morals. 
Extravagant in his habits, he found himself continually in difi&culties, 
and never ceased attempting to induce his wife to sell her inheritance 
that he might be able to continue his excesses. The lady's union with 
this husband must have been an unhappy one, and yet in several places 
she speaks of him in most affectionate terms. ''This first lord of 
mine," she says, " was in his nature of a just mind, of a sweet dis- 
position, and very valiant in his own person." Was it pride, or was it 
charity and good-heartedness, that prompted this dissimulation? — for such 
it is to be feared it is. By this marriage Lady Anne had two daughters, 
Margaret and Isabel. The former was born in 1614, two years before 
the Countess Dowager of Cumberland died. In memory of her last 
meeting with her mother, Lady Anne erected many years later what is 
known as the Countess Pillar on the road- side near Brougham Castle. 
Wordsworth, Rogers, and Mrs. Hemans have all made this act of 


devotion the subject of exquisite poetry. The verses of the poetess are 
especially beautiful. 

Lady Anne Clifford was left a widow in 1624. It might have been 
expected that after her bitter experience of wedded life the Countess 
would have debated very seriously before again marrying. Perhaps she 
did. Certainly it was six years before, " in Chenys Church, in Bucking- 
hamshire," she became the wife of Philip Herbert, Earl of Pembroke 
and Montgomery. This was in June, 1630. Strange that this choice 
was worse than the first. The Earl of Dorset with all his defects had 
still some noble traits of character ; but Pembroke is described — let us 
hope in exaggerated language — as "an ingrate, an ignoramus, a common 
swearer, a bully, and a coward." Elsewhere he is termed "a memo- 
rable " and "a brutal simpleton." He is said to have been "no scholar 
to speak of, for he was not past three or four months at the University 
of Oxford," and to have been unable to write his own name. The latter 
assertion cannot be correct, for Whitaker gives a facsimile of his 
autograph, and the hand is by no means an unpractised one. From the 
correspondence which has been handed down from this time we obtain 
curious glimpses into the domestic life of the Earl and Countess of 
Pembroke. A glaring instance of the husband's tyranny is to be seen 
in a letter written by Lady Anne to the Earl of Bedford, her uncle, 
wherein she desires Bedford to " speak earnestly " to her lord to obtain 
permission for her to visit London, " for," she adds, " I protest I will be 
ready to return back hither again whensoever my Lord appoints it." 
And then in a postscript the Countess says : — " Iff my lorde sholld 
denie [forbid] my comming, then I desire your lordship I may under- 
stand itt as sone as may bee, that I may order my poore businesses as 
well as I can, withe outt my once comming to the towne ; for I dare 
not ventter to come tipe withe outt his leve ; let he sholld take thatt occasion 
to turne mee outt of this hoivse, as hee did outt of Whitthall, and then I 
shall nott know wher to put my hede. I desire nott to staye in the 
towne above 10 daycs, or a fortnightt at the mostt." Unhappy Lady 
Anne Clifford's married life must have been, and yet the injured lady 
in her records speaks of her second husband in very indulgent terms. 
" He was of a very quick api)rehension, a sharp understanding, very 
crafty withal, and of a discerning spirit." And then, since she must 
admit that he was " choleric," she palliates his fault by adding that this 
disposition " was increased the more by the office of chamberlain to the 
king." And the lady finishes by saying, " He was one of the gi'catest 
noblemen of his time in England, in all respects, and was throughout 
the realm very well beloved." 


The course adopted by the Countess in her unhappy circumstances is 
one worthy of imitation. " I gave myself up to retirement as much as 
I could," she writes, " and made good books and virtuous thoughts my 
companions, which can never discern afdiction, nor be daunted when it 
unjustly happens ; and by a happy genius I overcame all these troubles ; 
the prayers of my blessed mother helping me therein." Happily her 
second bondage was not of long duration, for she separated from her 
husband after a course of cruelties had convinced her that his nature 
was utterly devoid of any trace of goodness or of manliness. The Earl 
died in January, 1650, unmourned by his partizans, and despised by 
those whom his outrageous conduct had turned against him. An 
examinatioQ of his character the reverse of a favourable one appears 
in Clarendon. 

Released from the marriage yoke by which she had been trammelled, 
and falling at last into the inheritance which until the death of Francis 
and Henry, her uncle and cousin, successive Earls of Cumberland, had 
been withheld from her, it was then that the Countess of Pembroke 
showed in fullest light those Christian graces which oppression, sore and 
long continued, had all but concealed. Her spirit regained its natural 
independence ; it breathed a fresh, a purer air, when at last she became 
mistress, undisputed mistress, of her own wills and pm-poses. 
Naturally the civil war which convulsed the country in the middle of 
the century in which she lived brought her renewed trouble and sorrow, 
but when peace had been again restored she set to work with heroic 
purpose repairing the injury that struggle had brought to her domains. 
Her castles were rebuilt, her churches restored, her dependents rewarded 
for their fealty and the sufferings they had borne. During her later 
years she resided in her castle at Skipton, in common with her other 
castles, and she "diffused plenty and happiness around her, by 
consuming on the spot the produce of her vast domains in hospitality 
and charity." Than in the case of this lady, it may safely be said, 
nobility never more worthily discharged its responsibilities. Her whole 
care was the amelioration of those who were dependent upon her. 
*' Equally remote," says Whitaker, " from the undistinguishing profusion 
of ancient times, and the parsimonious elegance of modern habits, her 
house was a school for the young, and a retreat for the aged, an asylum 
for the persecuted, a college for the learned, and a pattern for all." 
Thus did Lady Anne Clifford endear herself to the hearts of her tenants. 
She associated with them not as a titled aristocrat, but as a friend and a 
counsellor, sympathising with them in their troubles, ministering to 



their needs, advising them in their difficulties. Well did she realise the 
truth that — 

" The nobly born are not the only noble ; 
There is a line more noble, more majestic, 
Than is the sceptred line of mighty crowns !" 

Of that truer nobility, Lady Anne was a bright example. 

With all her feminine gentleness of disposition, the lady had a strong, 
a manly will, and a notion of business matters which would put many a 
shrewd masculine intelligence into deep shade. I venture to say that 
the Clifford estates had never a more careful guardian : had never one so 
careful. Her Evidences in the castle sufficiently prove her unique 
business capacity. She would not permit tenants, to their own injury, 
to contract large arrears of rent. " I charge you and give you attorety 
under my one hande," she writes to her steward, * Good John Brogden,' 
in the case of one easy-going defaulter, " forthewithe to distraine for the 
sayad rentte; and iff itt bee nott theruppon payed, I will usse the 
strictest course I cann to turne him outt of the farme." There was not 
surely great injustice here ; for as the lady says in the same letter, if 
rents were allowed to go unpaid tenants " shold soon be in a veiy sadd 
condic'on." The following signature reveals unmistakable strength of 
character. It is a facsimile of the lady's writing in 1655 (October 
11th) :— 

Lady Anne Clifford died on March 22nd, 1675, at Brougham — 
" Christianly, willingly, and quietly," as the inscription upon her tomb 
says — at the great age of 85 years. As her conduct in life had been 
Christian-like, so her death was pre-eminently that of a Christian. 
Just before the last moment came, she was asked how she felt. "I 
thank God, very well," was the reply; and no sooner had the voice 
ceased than the heart's pulsation ceased also, and the spirit returned to 
God who gave it. After a life like hers, iu which turmoil and sorrow 

246 niSTOEY OP skipton. 

entered so abundantly, the change was indeed, as Spenser, the poet, 
has it — 

" Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas, 
Ease after warre " 

Lady Anne ClifFord has left an example of noble living which will be 
an honour to womanhood for aU time. 



Nathaniel Simpson, Scholar and Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, 
was bom at Skipton towards the end of the sixteenth century. He 
was famous as a mathematician. A correspondent of Notes and Queries* 
says : — " He was probably educated at the endowed Grammar School of 
Skipton ; he may have been of the family of Simpson of Haverey Park, 
but his name does not occur in that pedigree as printed." The dates of 
Simpson's degrees are B.A,, November 25th, 1619; M.A., May 26th, 
1623; B.D., March 30th, 1631. Simpson compiled for the use of the 
Juniors of his College a work entitled Arithmeticoe Compendium^ 
which he afterwards enlarged. It was first printed in 1622. The 
correspondent already quoted remarks : — " Wood [in his Aihende] 
says that the ' Arithmeticse Compendium ' was in his day so rare that 
he never could see but one copy ; he also adds, ' I have been informed 
by some of his contemporaries that he had not only enlarged that 
compendium, but had other things of that nature lying by him fit for 
the press.' It does not appear from Lowndes that these other works 
were ever printed. It may perhaps be noted, as a proof either of the 
scarcity of the Compendium or of the slight estimation in which it was 
then held, that the Bodleian Catalogue of 1672 does not contain it." 
Another writer says of the work ; — *' Its rarity is further proved by the 
fact that from the list of 1580 names of reported authors, editors, &c., 
of works on arithmetic before 1800, compiled by Prof. De Morgan, and 
appended to his Arithmetical Books (1847), the name of Nathaniel 
Simpson is absent." We must, perhaps, conclude that the work 
was not one of great value. Simpson died in October, 1642, on the 
same day (the 23rd) as that upon which Edgehill fight happened, and 
was buried in Trinity College Chapel. 

* November 19th, 1881. 



The Lawyer and the Benefactor. 

It is true that these brothers were not natives of Skipton, but inasmuch 
as they were born in the same parish, and were both munificent 
benefactors to this town, a brief account of their lives may very appro- 
priately be given. The Petit or Petyt family is of ancient origin, for it 
dates back to Norman times. The first member of the family con- 
nected with this district appears to be Henry Petyt, who died at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century. He lived at Guiseley, and was 
buried at Bolton. His will, given by Dugdale, is dated 1509. John, 
the son of this Henry (to whom were bequeathed the testator's " father's 
good sweard, bowe, and arrowes,") married the sister of Richard Moon 
(written Moyne), Prior of Bolton at the time of the Dissolution. Three 
generations later we come across a William Petyt, of Storiths, Bolton, 
who married Maria, daughter of one William Petyt (or Petty) of 
Embsay. They had issue nine children — five sons and four daughters. 
Of these parents came our William and Sylvester. The nine children 
were : — 

1. — Elizabeth, married. 

2. — Henry, died young. 

3. — Mariana, married Thomas Battersby. 

4. — Margaret, married one Cookson. 

5. — Christopher, married Susanna, daughter of Alexander Pepper, 

of Kent. 
e.— William (bom 1637). 
7. — Henry, married one Briscoe. 
B>.— Sylvester (bom 1640). 
9. — Isabella, married Francis Catterson. 

This descent was proved by Dugdale in 1662, at which time William 
and Sylvester Petyt were respectively 25 and 22 years of age. The 
father died in 1659. Of the early life of William Petyt little of 
importance is known. He chose to follow the law, and we find him in 
1662 settled in London, occupying chambers at the Middle Temple ; his 
brother Sylvester being at the time at Barnard's Inn, pursuing the same 
study. WiUiam was admitted into the Society November 25th, 1664; 
was called February 12th, 1670 ; and was called to the Bench Jime 9th, 
1689, when he had attained the age of 52 years. He was a Bencher of 
the Inner Temple, of which he held for one year the secretaryship. He 
attained fame as a writer on law, but it was as a controversialist that he 


attained his highest honours. He was a great collector of manuscripts 
and books, and was at one time Keeper of the Records in the Tower. 

He published in 1680 "The Ancient Rights of the Commons of 
England asserted," a work which was the cause of long and bitter 
controversy. In 1681 he sent into the world "Miscellanea Par- 
liamentaria." Amongst other of his publications was — "Jus Par- 
liamentarium : or the Ancient Power, Jurisdiction, Rights, and Liberties 
of the Most High Court of Parliament revived and asserted." Petyt's 
writings often provoked refutations and counter-blasts. Thus we read of 
" A full answer to a book written by William Petyt, Esq., together with 
a true account of the famous Colloquium, &c., together with some 
animadversions on a book called Jani Anglorum.''^ Petyt never admitted 
himself defeated. He always returned with increased energy to the 
wordy conflicts he provoked. In James Tyrrell's History of England 
(1697-1704) graceful acknowledgment is made of the assistance given 
by William Petyt in the author's treatment of a question afiecting the 
history of the House of Commons. He speaks of Petyt as " my learned 
and worthy Friend William Petyt, late Treasurer of the Inner Temple, 
Esq., and Keeper of her Majestie's Records in the Tower of London," and 
he owns him to have been his " master in all that" he had '" learnt from 
Records concerning this important Subject." 

It was no small tribute to the learning and antiquarian knowledge of 
William Petyt that when the disordered state of the Records in the Tower 
was exciting universal regret he should be asked to undertake the work 
of re-arranging them. In 1689 an Address was presented to William 
III, from the House of Lords, praying that " William Petyt be employed 
to methodise the Records in the Tower of London, with proper assist- 
ance, the Records being in great disorder and confusion."* Petyt was 
appointed to the office, but the work did not commence until many years 
after. In 1703 Queen Anne ordered that " proper care should be taken 
to provide a convenient and safe place for the depositing of all the 
Records in the Tower, and that a sufficient number of clerks should be 
provided to clean, sort, digest, &c., the same, under the direction of 
William Petyt, Esq." Several references to the progress of this great 

* In his "History of London," Haitian cl says that "the Keepers of the Eecords have usually 
been such as have been skilled in the Law and studious in Antiquity, addicted to the perusal of 
ancient Records and Instruments, and withal Persons of great Faithfulness. He that hath the 
Custody of these Records is nominated thereto by the Sovereign on the Throne, who grants a 
Warrant to the Master of the Bolls to admit and swear him, and then eoniirmB him by Letters 


work are to be found. Mrs. G. A. Patmore, by whose biography of the 
Petyts, published in the Graven Pioneer, I have been assisted, remarks : 
— " A document now to be seen at the Eecord Office informs us that a 
duly authorised Committee of the House of Lords had enquired after the 
Records in the Tower, and had ' sent for Mr. William Petyt, keeper of 
the Records,' and had heard his account of the method observed ; they 
had appointed a sub-committee to visit the Tower, which sub-committee 
reported that much work had been done, and well done, but that many 
priceless manuscripts still lay in a confused mass, and were in danger of 
perishing ; that William Petyt must be allowed a sufficient number of 
clerks to help in so huge a task, and that George Holmes, who had been 
with him fourteen years, was well fitted to be his head clerk. In 
September of that same year, a report was given in, signed by William 
Petyt, Sir Christopher Wren, William Lowndes, Secretary of the 
Treasury, and John Austis, of antiquarian renown, to the effect that 
much expenditui'e would be found necessary to ensure the preservation 
of valuable Records of many reigns, then lying under the leads of Ctesar's 
Chapel; that drawers, shelves, and presses should be inmiediately 
provided to receive them ; and that three clerks shovJd be appointed 
besides Mr. George Holmes. All this was consented to, and later we find 
four original letters from William Petyt, wherein he reports progress to 
the Earl of Godolphin." The first is as follows : — " May it please your 
Lordship, — In most humble Obedience to your Lordship's Warrant, dated 
the 25 Sept. last, constituting me to supervise the digesting, putting in 
Order, and making Kalendars to the Records in Csesar's Chapell, and 
other Records in the Towei% and to Imploy Clerks for that Service : I do 
hereby with all Submission certify your Lordship, that Mr. George 
Holmes and the three other Clerks appointed by me have, since that 
time, been fully Imployed in the said Office, and have filled above 
twenty great Baskets with Records brought out of Cscsar's Chapell, which 
have been digested into the Reigns of the Respective Kings in order to 
be preserved in the method proscribed by your Lordship's said Wan'ant. 
— I am. My Lord, yoiu- Lordship's most obedient and most humble 
Servant, — Wm. Petyt." Other letters were written during the yeai-s 
1704 and 1705. 

William Petyt continued in the office of Keeper of the Records until 
his death, which took place at Chelsea, October 3rd, 1707. Within 
nine months of that time he was, by his own evidence, well and fully 
engaged. Petyt was connected with Christ's College, Cambridge, and 
by his will he leaves " two hundred pounds to be disposed of and laid 


out by my dear brother and executor, Mr. Sylvester Petyt, with the 
advice of the Master and Fellows of Christ's College, in Cambridge, in 
such manner as shall be thought best for the augmentation of 
the maintenance of such poor scholars as shall be entered of the 
College .... this to be done in remembrance of me in that 
College, of which I was admitted." The following is extracted from the 
Admission Book of Christ's College : — " 1660, April 26to. Gulielmus 
Petite, Gulielmi filius, natus in oppido Storichy, agri Eboracensis, 
educatus in Skiptone sub D°o Doughty, annos natus 19 m, admissus est 
pensionarius minor sub Mr. Abney. — J. C." — Translation : — 1660, 
April 26. William Petite, son of William, bom at the town of Storiths, 
in the county of York, educated at Skipton under Mr. Doughty, was 
admitted, aged 19, lesser pensioner, under Mr. Abney." Petyt's will is 
dated July 12th, 1705. The testator speaks very tenderly of the 
valuable library of "manuscripts, printed Bookes of Law, History, 
Antiquity, and Parliamentary proceedings," which he says cost him 
" many yeares paines and study, and stood " him " in much charge in 
collecting." These books he left to trustees, of whom his brother 
Sylvester was one, giving explicit directions as to the disposal of them. 
To the Society of the Middle Temple, and to the Society of the Inner 
Temple he left £50 for the purchase of books. Nor did he forget 
Skipton. Besides ordering a gift of £50 to the Grammar School, he 
bequeathed "to the poore of Skipton and Boxilton each five pounds," 
and he made provision for the maintenance at Christ's College, 
Cambridge, of poor scholars who had been educated in the Skipton 
Grammar School. Finally, he provided for his interment in the Temple 
Church burial-ground, and left £100 to be used in the erection of a 
monument. This provision was carried out by Sylvester, his brother. 
The inscription upon the monument is a very long one, and is in Latin. 
After Petyt's personal qualities are related, reference is made to the 
place of his birth : — 

" In Storithes pbope Abbatiam de Bolton, non ita longe a vico 
DE Skipton IN Craven, in comitat. Ehorum, natus fuit." 

Carved upon a grave-stone are the following words : — " The body of 
William Petyt, Esquire, buried here, the 9th day of October, mdccvii." 
Petyt was seventy years of age at the time of death. He was one of 
the two brothers of his family who did not marry. Sylvester was the 

In Stow's Survey of London (Strype, 1720) kindly reference to 
William Petyt is made : — " As he had long studied and was arrived to 


deep knowledge in the ancient history and constitutions of this 
kingdom, so he was very communicative of it to all that repaired to 
him for that purpose ; and was very assistant to such as published any 
things of that nature ; whereof I myself have had ample experience. 
He was a strong assertor of the liberties of England, and how well he 
acquitted himself therein his books printed against Dr. Brady do shew. 
He did for many years employ his clerks in making extracts of such 
records and rolls lying in the office of which he was Keeper as might be 
of pubhc use to be known and read in these times, and let in light into 
the affairs either of the State or of the Church, which at last amounted 
to a great number of volumes fairly written. He spent his last years 
at Chelsea, where, at his own charge, in his lifetime he erected a 
building that contained a vestry for the use of the parishioners to 
meet in about parish business, and a school-room for the teaching 
of the youth, and convenient chambers for the schoolmaster. He 
was afifable, pious, and charitable, and left a good name behind him." 

Sylvester Petyt, like his brother, followed the profession of law. He 
was born at Storiths in 1640. In 1662 he appears to have occupied 
Chambers at Gray's Inn, but he was not attached to his Society, that of 
Barnard's Inn, until 1666. His progress is recorded as follows in the 
Society's registers : — 

" Sylvester Petyx 

" Admitted to the Society June, 1666 

"Antient May, 1685 

■Principal July, 1701." 

(( - 

Sylvester Petyt's life was not a very eventful one. He did not, like 
his brother, make much noise in the literary world. But he was never- 
theless a useful citizen, fulfilling without parade and boast the duties 
that fell to him. It may be infen-ed from a passage in his will that 
Sylvester lived long and perhaps died at his residence in Belle Sauvage 
Yard, London : — " And I do give," he says, " to the said Stephen 
Catterson [a nephew] the pictures of my Brother and myself which 
were or are in my late Bedchamber in the house in Bell Savage Yard, 
and also my long swing Clock in the next room to my late Bedchamber 
which was my Brother's, which said two pictures and clock I will shall 
be sent to Skipton and placed in the Library there in the Church." He 
also orders the disposal of his body at death : — " My body, I comend," 
he says, " to decent Christian buriall, to be buried, if I dye in London, 
or within twenty miles thereof, in the churchyard of St. Andrew's, 
Holborne, on the back side of the churchyard there, ten foot deep at 


the least. But if I dye above 20 miles from London, then to be buried 

in the churchyard of the Parish where I shall so dye As 

to my funeral, if it please God that I shall dye in London, or within 20 
miles thereof, I do order and direct that my Body may be brought into 
Barnard's Inn Hall before my interment in order thereunto. But I will 
not that any of the Managers or Undertakers of Funerals, as they are 
called, shall be employed, or any cloth or escucheons hung up either in 
the Hall or in the Church. But there shall be only in the Hall a Pall 
over the Coffin, and as many Escucheons as is usual in such cases. I 
desire I may be buried between 3 and 4 of the Clock in the afternoon 
at latest, and the Pall held up by the Principal and 5 of the Antieuts 
of Barnard's Inn (if in Town)." It may be surmised from the above 
that Sylvester regularly worshipped in St. Andrew's church, at Holbom, 
for not only did he express a wish to be buried there : he bequeathed 
several charities to the parish. He was buried according to his desire 
at St. Andrew's, Holborn, in the register of which church is the record 
of his interment : — 

" October, 1719. 
" Sylvester Pettit from Barnerd's Inn, ye 6th." 

In his younger days Sylvester Petyt was clerk to Lord Chief Justice 
(Sir John) Holt, a picture of whom he presented to Barnard's Inn. 
Probably the painting which still occupies a prominent position in the 
HaU is the one. Near the picture of Holt is one of Sylvester Petyt. 
It is very faded, but beneath it is a perfect engraving of the original. 
In the Hall of Barnard's Inn are also Sylvester's armorial bearings : — 
they are to be seen upon one of the windows. An excellent painting of 
Sylvester Petyt hangs also in the minister's vestry of Skipton parish 
church. It bears the following inscription : — "Sylvester Petyt, Esqre., 
died Oct. 1st., 1719. This portrait was repaired at the expense of the 
trustees of his Charity Estate, 1844." He appears here to be about 
sixty years of age. He wears a massive powdered wig, and ample robes 
are thrown over his shoulders. The face is an extremely thoughtful 
one, and the fine eyes and noble brows temper a look somewhat stern. 

It is needless to speak here of the munificent charity of this Petyt, for 
an account of it appears elsewhere. 



The Antiquary. 

George Holmes, a very eminent antiquary, was born at Skipton in 
the year 1662. This date is supplied by Nichols in his " Litei-ary 
Anecdotes," for Holmes's baptism is not recorded in the Skipton parish 
register. Unfortunately parish registers were in those days kept with 
gi'eat carelessness, and succeeding generations have suffered in 
consequence. The name of Holmes is to be found among the earliest in 
our local registers, which go back nearly three hundred years. The 
pai-ents of George Holmes cannot be determined. Without drawing 
any conclusion it may be noted that the register records the man-iage 
in 1611 (Nov. 30th), of George Holmes and Margaret Petty, "both of 
this parish," the marriage of Nicholas Holmes and Lucy Petty, both of 
the same parish, in November, 1619; the burial of 'John Holmes, of 
Skipton, the infonner,' March 3rd, 1635 ; the burial in February, 
1666, of one 'Grace Holmes, widdow, of Skipton.' A Percival Holmes 
was, I learn from the same source, "buryed in y^ Countesse quire" 
at Skipton church, December 22nd, 1659. Other members of the 
Skipton family are John Holmes, died January, 1619; Anne Holmes, 
born 1620; Jane Holmes, born 1623; Lawrence Holmes, who died 
December, 1629 ; and William Holmes, died 1656. 

George Holmes early betook himself to the capital. He had heard, 
doubtless, of the influential position to which the Petyts of a neighbour- 
ing village had attained there, and he may have reasoned that equal 
success might not be impossible to him. Or it may be that of their 
own will the Petyts had persuaded Holmes, whose parents they will 
have known, to come to them in London. Certain it is that in 1690 
our worthy was serving William, the elder Petyt, who had just been 
elected Keeper of the Eecords in the Tower, in the capacity of clerk. 
" Among all the busy haunts of London in the 17th century," remarked 
a writer in the Craven Pioneer several years ago, " there were few places 
of resort where more work was accomplished, and this of a patient and 
laborious nature, than the Record Office within the Tower. At the 
period in question, William Petyt presided there with such ability,, 
mingled with courtesy, that he was confirmed again and again in his 
responsible office. More than this; he was allowed to engage a 
scholarly group of juniors to help him in his arduous task. To 
methodise the woi-k of this band of assistants, and to act as the 
master-spirit among them, William Petyt chose one with whose power 
of research and general capability we may suppose him to have been 


familiar, seeing that, in common with himself, he was from Craven, 
his native town being so near to Storiths, the village where Petyt was 
born, that we may venture to conjecture an early acquaintance between 
the two. This chosen deputy was George Holmes from Skipton." 

Whether or not from inherent antiquarian tastes, George Holmes 
found his employment a thoroughly congenial one. That he discharged 
his duties with diligence and skill is proved by the good opinion 
expressed by his master, Mr. Petyt, who soon ceased to regard him as a 
mere servant, and associated with him as a friend whose tastes and 
predilections intimately resembled his own. The fame of Holmes as an 
antiquary, well versed in the documentary lore the care of which in 
great measure devolved upon him, rapidly became known in the literary 
world, and he was frequently consulted by men of high standing. His 
readiness to oblige and assist whenever assistance lay in his power was 
time after time evidenced. " Few men in his office," says Chalmers, 
were more able and willing to assist researchers." Thus Holmes grew 
in fame and in the good opinion of his contemporaries. "He knew 
Robert Harley, afterwards Earl of Oxford, and founder of the Harleian 
Library ; also his librarian, Humphrey Wanley. He was able to oblige 
Thomas Hearne, the antiquarian ; and Strype, while editing Stow's 
London, was indebted to Holmes.* Browne Willis, author of the 
Survey of Cathedrals, coveted a sight of Holmes's manuscripts. Peter 
le Neve, compiler of the Fasti, when President of the Society of 
Antiquaries, was not contented till Holmes could be counted among the 
members of that learned body. Bowyer, the scholarly printer, honoured 
the name of Holmes, and the enterprising Jacob Tonson was zealous in 
availing himself of his services. Not to mention separately the 
distinguished members of the Spalding Society, of which Sir Isaac 
Newton was eventually president. Holmes numbered among his friends 
(besides those mentioned above) John Austis, the Herald and 
genealogist; George Vertue, the celebrated engraver; Roger and 
Samuel, the former first vice-president of the revived Society of 
Antiquaries ; Roger Twysden, editor, in conjunction with another, of the 
X. Scriptores ; Madox, the Exchequer antiquary : Elstob, the Saxonist ; 
Robert Sanderson, who assisted Rymer with the Fcedera ; Rymer 
himself ; Anthony a Wood, and other men of distinction in the literary 
world." Hearne also, in the Glossary to Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle, 

* strype acknowledges indebtedness not only to Holmes, but to William Petyt in his 


speaks very highly of George Holmes. He says of an autograph letter 
that it was copied out for him, '' as a favour, by that veiy learned man 
and most faithful transcriber, Geoi'ge Holmes, now Keeper of the 
Archives in the Tower [ivhom they call the Deputy)." Elsewhere he 
pays a tribute to Holmes's exactness as a transcriber. Another author 
characterises him as "a person excellently skilled " in antiquarian 
matters. Holmes laid archaeologists of another class under obligation. 
This was by preserving an ancient inscription in Temple Church. 

It has been already remarked that George Holmes was proposed a 
member of the Society of Antiquaries by the president, Peter le Neve ; 
but Holmes was, indeed, one of the few kindred spirits to whose 
enthusiasm is to be attributed the revival of that society in 1707, after 
its operations had for long been suspended. Among his fellow-members 
at this time may be named Wanley, Madox, the Exchequer antiquary, 
Stebbing, the Sanscrit Herald ; Sanderson, Clerk of the Rolls ; Maurice 
Johnson, who founded the Spalding Society ; Rymer, editor of Foedera ; 
and Austis. 

Leaving Holmes in the character of one of the most learned 
antiquaries of his day, let us glance at his domestic life. Probably 
about the time of his engagement with Mr. William Petyt in the 
Record Office, he married Elizabeth Marshall, the daughter of a noted 
sword-cutler of Fleet-street. By this marriage he had one son, George, 
who appears early to have imbibed his parent's antiquarian tastes. 
Young George Holmes was educated at Eton, and when little more than 
twenty years of age was granted admittance to the learned Society of 
Antiquaries. He ran, however, a short course, living only to the age of 
twenty-five years. His premature death was, thinks Grainger, "a gi-eat 
loss to the learned world." 

It was, as we have seen, under the eminent William Petyt that George 
Holmes the elder was first introduced to the Record Office. In 1707, 
however, Petyt died, and we may well imagine that with no ordinary 
sorrow would Holmes follow to the grave him to whom he owed the 
position of influence he had already attained ; him whose servant yet not 
less friend and associate he had been for nigh i;pon fourteen years. 
Holmes was handsomely remembered in Petyt's will* : — 

" Item, I give to Mr. George Holmes, my Gierke and Deputy at the Tower, he 
having lived with me about fourtecne yeares, Two hundred pounds." 

* Holmes was one of the tnistecs of Sylvester Petyt's will, which is dated 1719. He is there 
spoken of "George Holmes, gent., Deputy to the Keeper of the Records in the Tower of 


Wheu Mr. Richard Topham was installed into the vacant Keepership 
of the Records at the Tower, the Skipton antiquary retained connection 
with that office. He, however, continued ' clerk' no longer, but was 
appointed to the position of Deputy-Keeper. This was in consideration 
of his "singular abilities and marvellous industry." Speaking of 
William Petyt in connection with one of his works, Strype says — " His 
clerk and deputy was Mr. George Holmes, my very good friend, and very 
assistant to me in this work, as well as in others : he communicated to 
me divei'S records for my purpose. And is now also deputy to the 
present Keeper, Mr. Richard Topham." Holmes served also under Mr. 
Polhill, Topham's successor, and ultimately himself held the position of 
Keeper of the Records. Though occupied with arduous literary labour, 
he lived to enter his eighty-eighth year. The date of his death is 
February 16th, 1749. His will is very succinct : — " I, George Holmes, 
Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London, do make and declare 
this to be my last will. I give and bequeath all my estate, real and 
personal, to my loving wife, Elizabeth Holmes, whom I hereby make sole 
Executrix. In witness whereof I do hereunto set my hand this seventh 
day of May, 1748." 

The reputation of George Holmes does not rest merely upon his 
official work as Keeper of the Records — important and enormous as that 
work was — or upon frequently rendered assistance to authors. It was 
under his editorship that the first seventeen volumes of the learned 
work known as Rymer's Foedera were republished. " To make the 
work," wrote Jacob Tonson, the publisher, by whom he was engaged, 
" as exact as the nature of it requires, and the importance of it 
deserves, it hath been collated anew with the Records in the Tower by 
Mr. Holmes, by which means many paragraphs and lines omitted in the 
former edition are with due care supplied and corrected." Before 
Tonson's edition at £50 appeared, the Foedera had sold for a hundred 
guineas the set. The republication was completed during the years 
1727-1735. In this great work, as in everything else, Holmes's 
modesty is apparent. "No trace appears of the learned editor, 
except indeed the characteristic excellence of the work done ; and were 
it not for his name conspicuously printed by the publisher on the 
title-page, here again we might be at a loss as to the right person 
to whom gratitude is due."* It will be long before the name of 

* It is stated in the second edition of this work that it was by Holmes " ad originales 
Chartas in Turri Londiniensi denuo summa fide coUata et emendata." In Cooper's Public 
Records doubt is thrown upon the gi-eat care claimed for Holmes's work, and the author remarks 
that the second edition of the Foedera "seems to possess but few excellencies beyond the 


George Holmes, the Skipton Antiqiiary, disappears from the annals 
of literature. 



John Wainman, for upwards of fifty years a noted surgeon and 
apothecary, was born in Skipton in the year 1722, The years of his 
apprenticeship were spent at Leeds, from which place he removed to 
Edinburgh for the purpose of completing his education in 1745. He 
remained here two years, and made great progress in his acquaintance 
with medical science. So unusual, indeed, was his success, that he 
attracted the attention of many eminent professors, and a friendship 
then formed with these continued during the whole of his life. In the 
Gentleman's Magazine of September, 1794, appears an obituary notice of 
Wainman, and the writer thus refers to his early years : — " It was rather 
to comply with the wishes of a parent, and from other considerations of 
a domestic nature, than his own inclination, that he submitted to sit 
down as surgeon and apothecary in the humble situation of his native 
place ; in a neighbourhood so thinly peopled, where trade has not yet 
spread affluence, nor the arts of civilization polished the general 
manners, or enlarged the sentiments of the inhabitants. From an 
exalted and comprehensive view of nature in all her operations, he was 
convinced that the principal object of the medical profession was to 
assist her efforts by a cautious mildness, not to thwart them by force j 
and, from a liberal and disinterested integrity of mind, he resolved 
never to swell his bill with unnecessary expenses, which is now called, 
in technical language, * pushing the practice of the profession.' On these 
principles he clearly saw it was his duty to act ; and he rigidly adhered 
to them through a long life, though they almost daily subjected him, 
from the nai-row-minded and illiterate, to the suspicion of ignorance in 
his profession, or indolence in his attendance." Inheriting from his father 
a comfortable independence, Wainman was not under the necessity of 
arduously toiling for the support of himself and the large family that, 
grew around him. Nevertheless, during the fifty years of his practice 
in Skipton he earned a good name not only for usefulness, but for skill 
in his profession. He lived to the age of 72 years, but many family 
bereavements helped to dim the happiness which might otherwise 
have surrounded the close of his long career. When his cud was near, 



" perfectly aware of his danger, he conversed with his family and friends 
to the last moment, without a murmur, with cheerfulness and tran- 
quillity, as if desirous to show them an example of the comforts of a 
well-spent life, and to let them see, what they might have read of, how 
a Christian could die." Wainman died September 20th, 1794, and was 
buried in the parish church of Skipton, where a tablet records his merits 
in the following terms : — 


TO THE Memory op 

Mr. IOHN "WAINMAN, who died Seft^- 20th, 1794, Aged 72 Years, 


UPWARDS OP 50 Years, with great Credit and Success. 

He was well skilled in the Branches op Literature 

connected with his profession, 

IN Morals He was firm without Moroseness, 

IN Manners simple and unaffected, 

An indulgent Husband, A tender Parent, and A sincere Friend. ^ 


Several natives of Skipton of later years who have in varied ways 
earned celebrity more or less great may properly be named here. 



He was born of humble parentage at Skipton in 1747. Manifesting 
unusual abilities, he obtained a patron, and in 1762 was sent to the 
University College, Oxford. Here he gained a scholarship in 1768, and 
graduated and became Fellow of his College in 1779. On the 11th 
December, 1779, he was installed vicar of ArnclifFe, in Craven, and in 
Whitaker he is said to have retained the vicarship until death, but in 
his Celerities of the Yorkshire Wolds, Mr. Frederick Ross states that he 
became Lecturer at St. Martin's, Birmingham, in 1791, and rector of 
Thwing in 1802. Croft, who is described by one writer as a "learned 
divine," died in 1809. He was author of "A Sermon on Proverbs 
xxiv., 21," (Stafford, 1784); " Eight Sermons, preached in 1786 at the 


Lecture founded by the Eev. John Bampton, M.A.," (Oxford, 1786); 
"Thoughts concerning the Methodists and the Estabhshed Clergy," 
(London, 1795) ; and "Sermons, including a Series of Discourses on the 
Minor Prophets, preached before the University of Oxford " (2 vols., 
published at Birmingham in 1811). 

Lord Chancellor of England. 

This eminent lawyer, who died in 1875, was born in a smaU house in 
Newmarket-street, Skipton, February 12th, 1781. He was of very 
humble origin, for his father was a barber and hairdresser. Of Sugden's 
early history little is known beyond that before he was far advanced in his 
teens he served Mr. Schofield, attorney, of Skipton, as clerk. Doubtless 
his early education was received at the Grammar School. About the 
year 1800 Sugden's father removed to London, where he began a lucra- 
tive business as wig-maker. Young Sugden accompanied his parent to 
the capital. In an interesting obituary notice, from the pen of Mr. E. 
Walford, M.A., which appeared in the Law Times at Sugden's death, 
reference is made to the student's introduction to a London office of 
solicitors. " Nearly all that is known about the commencement of his 
legal career is that towards the end of the last century, while stiU under 
age, he entered the office of a certain conveyancer. The tradition, 
widely believed, is that while still quite a youth, and employed as a 
clerk in the offices of a large firm of solicitors in London, he was in the 
habit of taking matters of business for them to the chambers of an 
eminent conveyancer — we have heard it said, the late Mr. Duval. The 
latter one day, having occasion to speak to young Sugden with reference 
to some business that he had brought to him, was so struck with the 
lad's acquaintance with the law of the case, that, at the suggestion of 
the firm, Mr. Duval took him as a pupil without the customaiy fee ; and 
it was in this eminent man's chambers that he got that insight into the 
law of real property which afterwai'ds led him to the woolsack." Sugden 
was for some time engaged as a conveyancer, but he veiy early gave 
evidence of exceptional legal skill. Before his twenty -second year ho 
published a treatise on " Vendors and Purchasers," a work which " at 
once became a text-book with the profession." The fom*teenth edition of 
this book was published in 1862. In 1807, at the age of 26 years, 
Sugden was called to the bar by the Honourable Society of Lincoln's 


Inn. He published in 1808 another work of note, "Practical Treatise 
of Powers," which immediately " elevated him to a conspicuous position 
in the foremost rank of his profession ; and he soon entered upon a 
respectable practice, which continued constantly enlarging till, as was 
generally admitted, it became one of the most lucrative in that particular 
branch. Occasionally he argued a case in the Court of Chancery, and 
for a few years most of those special cases which were brought before the 
Court of King's Bench relating to the laws of real property." Sugden 
in 1817 ceased chamber work, and took his seat in the Chancery Court, 
where his deep knowledge of equity soon became apparent, and soon 
made him famous. Six years afterwards the honour of a silk gown was 
conferred upon him by Lord Eldon, and the same year he became a 
Bencher of Lincoln's Inn. 

Sugden appears early to have coveted Parliamentary honours. In 
1818 he offered himself as a candidate for Sussex, but did not go to the 
poll. At Cambridge and Shoreham he was unsuccessful, at the latter 
place in 1826. Success, however, came at last. In 1828 Sugden took 
his seat as one of the members for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis. He 
was appointed Solicitor-General the following year, receiving the custo- 
mary honour of knighthood. An election intervening, he was again 
returned for Weymouth, as also at the general election following the 
death of George IV. in 1829. He sat in the next Parliament for the 
borough of St. Mawes, in Cornwall, now disfranchised. Sugden did not 
frequently address the House, but " his earliest utterances generally were 
a thorough-going defence of the Court of Chancery, and he even went so 
far as to assert that it was ' chiefly fraudulent trustees ' who complained 
of the court, so that it was a surprise to many when he came forward" at 
last " with a Bill for the amendment of the Law as administered in 
Chancery." He was sworn a member of the Privy Council in 1834, and 
in the following year received the degi'ee of LL.D. from Cambridge. 

The frequent passages-at-arms between Sir Edward Sugden and Lord 
Brougham, when the latter was elevated to the Lord Chancellorship, 
will even yet be remembered in legal circles. Sugden continued to rise 
in his profession. In 1835 he was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland, 
a position he only held three months. The same office was accepted by 
him in 1841 ; but he declined, it is said, a peerage at the same time. 
From 1837 to 1841 Sugden represented Ripon in Parliament. He con- 
tinued Irish Chancellor from 1841 to July, 1846, when, on the fall of the 
Peel Administration, he went into temporary retirement. In 1852, on 
the Earl of Derby coming into power for the first time, the Skipton 


barber's son became Lord High Chancellor of England, an office which he 
filled for nine months, being succeeded by Lord Cranworth. Sugden 
took his seat on the woolsack as Lord St. Leonards. When Lord Derby 
formed his second Administration in 1858, he offered Lord St. Leonards 
the seals of his former office, but the offer was declined, and his lordship 
never resumed office. 

Although Lord St. Leonards appeared rather as the critic of other 
men's reforms than as the projector of his own, he wrote a number of 
valuable legal books and pamphlets. It is said that he devoted so much 
care to his publications that it was a principle with him to have ' nulla 
dies sine linea,' so that everything might be brought up to the latest 
point. Lord St. Leonards appears not to have always borne his honoui's 
meekly. When appointed to the Irish Chancellorship, says one, " to the 
Irish bar his haughty, overbearing manners were most offensive and 
repulsive. The appointment, however, met the approval of the English 
bar, who were glad of Sugden's absence from a court where he was only 
respected for his legal knowledge." Sugden's lowly origin seems to have 
been a constant source of amusement to his opponents, of whom he 
created many. " Briefless barristers in the Chancery Court used to 
amuse themselves by decorating the green baize of the table with pen 
and ink sketches of a barber, about whose identity there was no mistake." 
When reproached for his humble parentage, Sugden, however, at times 
vanquished his detractors upon their own ground. Upon the hustings 
during an early candidature for senatorial honours, he was publicly 
twitted by an opponent with being a barber's son. " Yes," he replied, 
" I was, and I still am, the son of a barber ; but there is one difference 
between myself and my assailant, and that is this — I was a barber's son 
and have risen to be a barrister ; but if he had been a barber's son, he 
would probably have remained a barber's boy to the end of his life." 
Here the laugh was turned quite round. 

Sugden married in 1808, and had issue three sons and seven 
daughters. He died January 29th, 1875, at the great age of ninety-four 
years, at his residence, Boyle Farm, near Thames Ditton, and was 
buried in the churchyard of St. Nicholas, in the same parish. At the 
time of his death, in addition to offices already mentioned, he held the 
positions of deputy-lieutenant for Sussex, trustee of the British Museum, 
and also high steward of the borough of Kingston-on-Thames. 




Stephen Bailey Hall, who died so recently as 1866, was the author of 
" The Test of Faith, Israel a Warning to Britain, and other Poems " 
(Hahfax, 1839), a copy of which is before me. Almost without exception 
the poems are of a didactic nature. Mr. Hall was born in 1794. He 
held the position of manager of the old Skipton Savings Bank from its 
establishment in April, 1818, to the time of his death. By the example 
he presented, throughout his whole life, of unswerving uprightness, Mr. 
Hall won the universal esteem of his fellow townsmen. 



The career of this remarkable man should not pass unnoticed. William 
Oldfield was born in 1807 at Skipton. He began life in very humble 
circumstances. Indeed his early years were spent in hand-loom weaving. 
But it was whilst following that occupation that he gained knowledge 
that fitted him for a more important position in after life. In youth he 
had always shown a decided love for mechanics, and it is no wonder, 
therefore, that when circumstances offered a favourable opportunity he 
devoted himself to the pursuit he naturally inclined to. After being a 
weaver Oldfield became a mechanic and practical optician, and in following 
this new calling he speedily acquired a keen love of astronomy. As an 
astronomical telescope maker he became famous. While engaged in 
astronomical observations Oldfield was the first person in England to 
descry the new comet of 1857. This was on July 2nd. On telegraphing 
his discovery to the Royal Observatory, Oldfield was informed that he had 
only been preceded ten days in the discovery by an astronomer of 
Gottingen, after whom the comet was named " Kluikerfue's Comet." 
Our worthy must be credited with being the introducer of photography 
into Skipton. In this art he was very successful, though at that time 
photographers had not all the necessary apparatus made to their hands, 
as at present. In the course of his busy life Oldfield found time to 
help forward the educational movements of the town, for having found 
the value of his own self-attained knowledge he was anxious to be of 
service to those less fortunate than himself. Thus he was one of 
the founders of the Mechanics' Institute. Oldfield died on Sunday, 
December 11th, 1870, aged 63 years. 




Only during the present year, 1882, has this notable native of Skipton 
passed away. Richard Waller was born in 1811. He was very early 
sent to a school in Newmarket-street, conducted by Mr. James Hall, the 
parish clerk, and at the age of fifteen was apprenticed to Mr. Johnson, a 
coach builder, who carried oii business in Coach-street. At a very early 
age Waller showed a strong passion for painting, and although this 
apprenticeship was distasteful to him, it was a step towards that higher 
calling he was afterwards to follow. While yet young he painted a 
picture called " Skipton in the Olden Time." This work was stolen, and 
it has never been restored. After passing some time as a coach-painter, 
Waller confined himself to the painting of the heraldic work connected 
with the establishment. On the completion of the term of his apprentice- 
ship. Waller left Skipton for Manchester, and there studied painting of a 
higher kind. Here he opened a studio. At first he devoted himself 
to landscapes and imaginative subjects, but at a later period he 
turned his attention to portrait-painting, and it was in this branch of the 
art that he ultimately made his name so celebrated. After four years' 
residence in Manchester, Waller returned to Skipton, and executed a 
second picture of the main street of the town, taken from Caroline 
Square. A third picture of the same was produced some time later, and 
with the title " A View of Skipton-in-Craven" was engraved by Baron 
Friedel, the noted London engraver. Mr. Waller stayed in Skipton 
until 1840, being kept well employed during the time, but in that year 
he went to London, where he remained nine months, afterwards visiting 
Keighley and Bradford for short periods. In the latter place he made 
the acquaintance of a number of persons of literaiy and artistic tastes. 
Mr. Waller's next removal was to Leeds, where he opened rooms in 
Park Square. While here he painted a picture of Mr. Edward Baines, 
father of Sir Edward, which added greatly to the fame his genius had 
akeady won him. It was from this picture tliat Mr. Noble Bohnes 
afterwards framed the statue of Mr. Baines which is now in the Leeds 
Town Hall. 

Again changing his place of abode, Mr. Waller went to London, where 
he enjoyed the companionship of many prominent figures in the literary 
and artistic world — among them Dickens, Thackeray, Lemon, Douglas 
Jerrold, Woolger, and Alfred Melon. While in the capital he painted 
many pictures from life. Several of his uudo figures, clever as specimens 


of flesh-painting, were hung in the Royal Academy. In 1846 Waller 
painted a successful picture of Garibaldi — one of seven painted during 
the Hero of Caprera's visit to England, and, as the General declared, the 
best. Another of Waller's notable early portraits was that of Earl 
Cairns, which attracted considerable attention at the exhibition held in 
the Cloth Hall Yard, Leeds. This picture was passed to be hung in 
the Royal Academy, and it was named in the catalogue, but by some 
accident was left out of the exhibition. Many other clever portraits 
Waller executed in the coiirse of his laborious career. Indeed, it has 
been said that there is scarcely a family of standing in the county but 
possesses some work from his hand. One of his works is " Crom. 
well's soldiers in Skipton Church." 

But, in addition to being a successful artist, Waller was an 
indefatigable mechanician and an inventor. It would not be wrong 
to say that half his life was spent in perfecting several scientific 
discoveries and improvements in mechanism. The discovery of a 
new motive power for engines was one of the objects which he 
most steadfastly pursued, and one of the schemes on which he set 
most store was incomplete at the time of his death. At a time when 
the thought of constructing expensive railways had occurred to only few 
persons, Mr. Waller was labouring to apply the steam power used in 
mills to road conveyances, and upon this scheme he spent much 
valuable time and money. Waller always kept a mechanics' shop in 
operation, carrying on experiments while he was working at the easle to 
supply the necessary funds. The artist died June 25th, 1882, aged 
71 years. 


Poet and Author. 

He was born April 30th, 1811. His father, a Huddersfield man, and 
a marine, died in 1813, upon which the widow removed with her child 
to York, where she opened a shop, and in time built up a profitable 
business. Newsam was educated at Ramsgill, in Nidderdale, and at 
Doncaster, but being taught no trade by which he could earn a live- 
lihood, he frequently became very reduced in circumstances. The 
business established by his mother brought him no advantage, for 
Mrs. Newsam became acquainted with a man named Bottomley, with 
whom she lived until her death in 1829. Newsam has left memoranda 


relating to his youth. He says that towards the end of the year 1824 
his mother went to Hve in London, and there Bottomley obtained charge 
of Mrs. Newsam's affairs. Shortly afterwards they returned to Leeds, and 
property was purchased to a considerable amount. In one of the houses 
bought the family resided until 1829, when Mrs, Nowsam died. "My 
mother," says Newsam, *' had made a will, securing the property to me ; 
but it was never administei'ed." Bottomley died in 1823, bequeathing 
the whole of the property to a natural daughter for life ; in the event of 
her death, the property to be divided between her mother and Newsam. 
The latter never benefitted to the extent of a penny by this provision. 
After his mother's death Newsam's condition became one of penury, but 
journeying to London he obtained a situation as a book-canvasser. 
Through illness he lost this position, and but for the good offices of the 
niece of the Irishman at whose house he lodged, he must have died. 
She obtained medical aid for him, and brought about his recovery. In 
return for this kindness Newsam married his nurse, by name Murray, 
who was a widow, and was older than himself. At London Newsam 
attempted to establish a bookseller's business, but failing he removed 
successively to Birmingham, Leeds, Hull, York, and Manchester, 
During 1841-2 he was master of a school at Moston, near the last-named 
place, his weekly remuneration being 9s, 6d. Several of Newsam's 
poems may be referred to this period. His efforts in verse-making were 
chiefly confined to religious and pastoral subjects. The legend of the 
Boy of Egi-emond forms the theme of one poem, and " Recollections of 
Childhood" is the title of another. 

In the year 1843 Newsam went to reside at Sheffield, and at this 
time we find him contemplating the publication of a work on the poets 
of Yorkshire, upon which he had spent much labour. In June of 
1844 the work appears to have been in an advanced state, but 
on account of poverty and ill-health he was unable to proceed 
with it. In his extremity he sought the aid of a worthy Sheffield 
man, the late Mr. John Holland, who readily fell in with his 
wishes. The biographer of Holland, the Rev. W. Hudson, thus 
narrates the circumstances of Newsam at this period : — " At Sheffield at 
this time there was an unsuccessful, but ingenious and amiable man 
whose case touched Mr. Holland in an extraordinary degree. This was 
William Cartwright Newsam, a native of Skipton-in-Craven, who had 
sought him out and completely enlisted his sympathy. The poor man 
had suffered gi-eat reverses of fortune, and had had a life of great diffi- 
culty and distress. On the 14th of June he wrote to Mr. Holland that 


he was obliged to keep his bed ; and ten days after that he died, leaving 
a widow and three children in destitution, with no hope that anything 
could be done for them unless Mr. Holland would undertake to complete 
and prepare for the press a work which the poor man had had some time 
in hand. Mr. Holland, with his usual benevolence, undertook the work, 
and on the 1st of July issued a prospectus of The Poets of Yorkshire: or 
Sketches of the Lives and Writings of those ' Children of Song ' who have 
been natives of, or otherwise connected with, the County of York. The book 
was to be published by subscription for the benefit of the widow and 
children." Mr. Holland has also recorded the circumstances under 
which he undertook the publication of Newsam's work. He says : — 
'' On the afternoon of Sunday, June 23rd, a good woman came to tell me 
that Mr. Newsam was so very ill that he thought he should not live the 
night over, and was very anxious to see me before he died. I imme- 
diately went to his house, and found the poor man evidently near his 
end. With much composure he spoke of his approaching dissolution, the 
consolations of religion which he enjoyed, and his confidence of shortly 
entering the Christian's rest. He had sent for me, he said, to receive 
his dying request that I would undertake the arrangement and printing 
of his little book, which might, perhaps, be made to yield a trifle for his 

widow It was not a moment for balancing nicely the 

uncertainties of the experiment, in a pecuniary point of view, against a 
willingness to undertake it iinder the circumstances. I therefore 
promised to do the best I could in the matter." On the following day 
Newsam died. Holland at once entered upon his work, and The Poets 
of Yorkshire appeared in March, 1845. In justice to the good-hearted 
editor it should be said that Newsam's collection of poets was not 
nearly a complete one, and that almost three - quarters of the 
present book was added by HoUand. The widow of Newsam reaped 
whatever benefit accrued from the publication. 



N dealing with the commercial history of our 'sheep-town,' it 
is fitting that the first place be given to agriculture. From 
very early times — even while the Albemarles held sway 
over its destinies — the town had several regularly-chartered 
fairs and markets. " The Earls of Albemarle," says an old record in the 
Castle Evidences, " had in Skipton a markett everye Saturday through- 
out the yeare to be held ; and ffayres there twoe in the yeare to be held, 
to witt at the fFeast of S*- Martyn for eight dayes, and at the fiieast of 
S*' James for eight dayes, and toll of the ff'ayres, and the amendment of 
the assize of bread and ale." These are the fairs mentioned in a valua- 
tion of 1609, giving the comparative values for that year and the year 
1311 :— 

The p'fitte of the weekely rrCTcdt & two faiers ther [Skipton] in the ycre, then 
[1311] valued at xvj?. xiijs. iiijc?. 

The above fairs were obtained by Baldwin de Betun, Earl of Albemarle, 
&c.,jure uxoris (Hawise, daughter and heiress of Cecily and William le 
Gross, Earl of Albemarle). They were granted in 1204 by King John."^ 
In addition to these, fairs were obtained for the eve of Palm Sunday, for 
Monday in Whitsun-week, and for St. Luke's Day. 

It is very interesting to glance at the value of agi'icultural produce 
in those days. At the beginning of the fourteenth ccntuiy a sack 
of wool in Craven was worth about £G. The sack weighed twenty-six 
stones of fourteen pounds each. Black wool sold at 5s. the stone. 
The average price of wool was about 2s. Gd. the stone, for the produce 
of 2,000 sheep belonging to the Canons of Bolton came to about £70. 



A sheep sold for Is., so that the value of the wool was two-thirds that of 
the sheep. A cow could be bought for 7s. 4d., an ox for 13s. 4d. It 
follows, therefore, that an ox was a bad exchange for three stones of the 
best wool. At the same time the wages of a labourer were Id. or l|d. 
per day. 

In the year 1597 George Earl of Cumberland obtained another 
charter, sanctioning the holding in Skipton of a fair every second 
Tuesday from Easter to Christmas. The following is a translation of 
the principal clauses : — 

"Elizabeth, D.G. — Since our well-beloved subjects dwelling in the town of Skipton 
in Craven have besought us humbly that we should deign to grant them a fair 
(holiday) in the town of Skipton on Tuesday every second week between Easter and 
Christmas, and since we are informed by the statement of the Right Reverend Father 
in God, Matthew, Archbishop of York, that the said fairs are in no wise hurtful to the 
other neighbouring fairs, but are very useful to those living within forty miles near the 
aforesaid town, for the buying, selling, and exhibition of horses, cows, bullocks, and 
sheep, &c. Know ye, therefore, that we have given leave to our weU-beloved and 
trusty cousin, George, Earl of Cumberland, for them to have and to hold the said 
fair. Given on the 24th day of May, in the year 38 of our reign." 

At this time Skipton cattle fair had already become a very important 
one. The "Household and Farm Accounts of the Shuttleworths of 
Gawthorpe Hall"* contain the following entries : — 

November, 1583. — Payed for an oxe in Skypton, xlvijs. vjd. 
May, 1613. — Twoe yolke of feedinge oxen, bought in Skipton faire, xv]7. xvijs. 
viijc?. ; for a feedinge cowe bought there, Is. ; three metts of oates, vjs. 

It may not be out of place to give here a list of the fairs held at 
Skipton in the year 1756, when a retiirn was published by Owen : — 

March 23rd Horned cattle, sheep 

Palm Sunday Eve Horses 

Easter Eve Cattle and sheep 

1st Tuesday after Easter "J 

2nd „ ,, J. Horned cattle 

3rd „ „ j 

Whitsun Eve Linen cloth and mercery 

August 5th Horses and cloth 

November 20th Horned cattle 

November 22nd Horses, broad cloth, pedlars 

It was customary for the tolls of Skipton markets and fairs to be 
farmed. Thus I find that Thomas Earl of Thanet in 1702 granted to 
one Thomas Chamberlain, of Skipton, " the great tolls of cattle, corne, 
graine, wooll, and goods sold, issueing out of the flfaires and marketts 

* Published by the Chetham Society. 


holden within the towne of Skipton, and within the townes of Gargrave 
and Appletreewick .... which have beene customariely payd 
unto the Lords of the Honour of Skipton ; and also all other tolles fFor 
wooll which heretofore have customariely beene paid within the towne 
of Skipton unto the Lords of the Honour of Skipton or their assignes 
att other times when ffaires and marketts have not beene there holden, 
w'th all usuall liberties, powers, priviledges, authorities, and remedies 
fFor the gaineing, collecting, obtaineing, receiveing, and recou'ring 
thereof." The lease was for a term of eleven years, and the annual 
rent was " the sume of eighteene pounds of good and lawfull money of 
England," to be paid at " the fFeast of St. Michael the Archangel, and 
the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by even and equall 
porcons." Exactly a hundred years before, the tolls of the fairs were let 
for ^9 13s. 4d., while in 1651 they realised £10 16s. 

An invariable practice was the "proclaiming" of the fairs. This was 
originally done by the steward of the estate, but afterwards by some one 
of inferior rank. Thus record of payments like the following may be 
met with in the accounts of the Earls of Thanet : — 

March 28. — Charges in proclaiming Skipton ffairs, 4s. 6d. 

It is said that the fair was last proclaimed in Skipton at the time peace 
was declared after the Crimean War; both announcements were 
officially made in the market-place at one and the same time. 
The market of Skipton was ruled by many customs, some peculiar to 
itself, and offenders against these were presented to the Court Leet, who 
imposed fines. The rolls of the Court, many of which remain at 
Skipton Castle, furnish interesting information upon these and 
kindred matters. Appended are extracts : — 

" 1707. — John Charnock, of Haswick in Littondale, for exposoing to sale two hanks 
of yarn wanting length, amerced six shillings and eight pence." 

" October 17th, 1738. — Whereas Robert Hcelis and Robt. Johnson, clerks of the 
market for the burg of Skipton for the year seventeen hundred and thirty-eight, have 
presented unto us that Peter Moorby, a Butcher within this burg, hath kiled and sold 
within the burg aforesaid a buU without baiteing, we the jury do amerce the sd. 
Moorby for so doing the sum of six shillings and eight pence. And we also amerce 
Robert Lambert on the sd. clerks' presentment the sum of Gs. 8d. for selling by false 
and short weights, the sd. amercem'ts to be pd. to the Lord of the Manor." 

"April 23rd, 1740. — We the jur5Tnen do amerce Jeremy Lund the sum of six 
shillings and eight ponce, to bo paid to the Lord of this Manor, for buying and selling 
at one and the same day corn in the marketts within this manor, contrary to Law in 
that case made and provided. — Wo the jury do find that several badgers, butchers, and 


other hawkers do make a frequent practice in fforestalling the market held within 
this manor, to the great prejudice of the poor people, and other ffare traders, and 
inhabitants within tliis manor ; Now we, the jury aforesaid, do amerce every person 
that shall fforestall the marketts within this manner in buying and selling beef, butter, 
corn, or any other marketable goods in such ilicit manner within the jurisdiction of 
this coiu-t the sum of 39s. lid. each and for every offence." 

" October 1st, 1740. — We the jurymen do amerce Richd. Birtwhistle the sum of 
thirty-nine shillings and eleven pence for fforestalling the market within the jurisdiction 
of this court, be buying corn before it came to the market. — We the jurymen do 
amerce John Pearson the sum of thirty-nine shillings and eleven pence for regrating 
the market held within this manor by and for buying and selling dead victuals in one 
and the same markett day within this manor." 

"May 5th, 1742. — We the jurymen do amerce Geo. Mawson, of Halton, for 
exposeing to sale at the Market Cross within this manor, butter short weight, contrary 
to the standard used within this manor, viz., one pound of butter, the sum of 6s. 8d." 

" October 18th, 1749. — We the jurymen do present that several persons sell butter 
on the market day within this manor at other places than at the Market Cross, and 
before the time of the day for that purpose accustomed, and the laws and orders made 
by this court ; for remedy whereof we the jurymen do amerce each person or persons 
whatsoever the sum of six shillings and eightpence for every pound of butter that he, 
she, or they shall after the fourth day of November next buy, sell or expose to sale 
within this manor on a market day at other places than at the Market Cross, and not 
there except between nine and eleven o'clock in the morning between the twenty- 
ninth day of September and the twenty -fifth day of March yearly on the market days, 
and between eight o'clock and ten o'clock in the morning between the twenty-fifth day 
of March and the twenty-ninth day of September yearly on the same days, and 
notice to be given of the said hours by ringing of the bell by the clerk of the 

" October 22nd, 1755. — We the jurymen do present that it appears unto us that 
William Phillip did buy of ffrancis Demaine two loads of pottatoes on the market day 
held the twenty-third day of May last within the sd. manor, and that the same Wm. 
Phillip did sell the same or some part thereof in the market the same day, contrary to 
law, wherefore we do amerce him the sum of three shillings and fourpence, to be paid 
unto the Lord of this Manor." 

The market was opened by the ringing of the bell which in former times 
hung above the Market Cross. The fines accruing from market offences 
went to the lord of the manor, who as a set-off defrayed the various 
expenses connected with the detection of misdoings. Thus the accounts 
of Thomas Earl of Thanet contain a record of these payments : — 

August 5. — Paid John Green, a clock maker, for lock and mending the brass 
scales belonging to Skipton Markett, 6s. 8d, 

Paid at York for several weights for the use of Skipton Markett, 175. 

We get a peep at the state of husbandry in the vicinity of Skipton at 
the close of the sixteenth century in the following petition from the 


inhabitants of Carleton to " The Ryghte Hon'ble Lorde, Lorde George 
Erie of Cumberlande" : — 

" Whereas, Right Hon'ble, the summer pasture belonging unto your poore and 
daylie oratours and tenants thinhabitants of Carltoun is a veray barrayne grownde 
for gresse and pasturadge, by reason of the hyllie ground and hie lyinge of the same, 
yet frewtfull for come, as by sawinge the same hearetofore theay have tryede ; and 
because that they have moche other grovvnde whiche, by longe occupyinge of the same 
w'th sawynge, is becomen veray unfrewtfull and barrayne for come, and cannot be 
maynered witheout helispe of pasturinge, w'ch is to there greate hynderance, for 
lacke of come, as God knowethe — your saide poore tenants were amynded to have 
exhibited ther moist humble supp'cac'on unto yowre honor that theay myght have 
sawne the same pasture agayne. But certayne freeholders ther woulde not agree in 
noe wyse, unlesse that theay mighte have ther p'ts of the sayd pasture : Whearefore 
v^oulde it please your Honor, of your gi-eate goodnesse not onlie to suffer that the said 
freeholders ther might have ther p'ts, but also that youre said poore tenants mighte 
divide and take theares in by theamselves lykewise," &c. 

The Earl's Council, it may be noted, decided regarding this petition that 
it should stay until the laud had been surveyed, and then answer should 
be given. 

It is telling no new fact to say that in former times corn was very 
extensively grown throughout Craven, and that from a very early date 
Skipton was a famous corn market. In a document bearing date 1655, 
is mention of " a messuage or dwelling-house, barne, garthe, and garden, 
lying nere the come markett of Skipton." Evidently a place was devoted 
to the wants of the corn dealers who flocked hither from all parts of 
this and adjoining counties. It was in this way that the street known as 
New-market obtained its name. A topographer writing sixty years ago 
observes : — " Skipton is a place of considerable trade and business, and 
by its market and fairs thrives as a connecting link between the two 
populous counties of York and Lancaster. The market is on the 
Saturday, and great quantities of corn are brought eastward, chiefly 
from Knaresbro', and dispersed from hence into different parts of 
Craven, and into the north-eastern parts of Lancashire. Formerly 
scarcely a cart was to be seen in Skipton market, but now no fewer than 
200 attend weekly. This is partly owing to the great quantities of corn 
produced by the inclosure of Knaresbro' Forest. Like Wakefield and 
Rotherham, Skipton is a great mart for cattle and sheep, and a vast 
number of purchasers from Manchestex', Preston, Blackburn, Bolton, and 
other parts of Lancashire are seen here at the fortnightly fairs, which are 
held every other Tuesday throughout the year." The fame of Skipton 
as a corn market has left it, though as a market for the sale of cattle it 
has very few superiors. The cattle fair is held now on alternate 


Mondays. Already reference has been made to the price of stock 
and of labour in the fourteenth century, and it will not be 
improper to allude here to their value last century. In 1700, a cow was 
worth 15s., and in an inventory dated 1722, the following stock is 
valued at £14 10s. : — Three cows, four stirks, four calves, two mares, 
and two foals ; ten years later four cows, three calves, two mares, one 
pig, and ten geese are valued at £25 10s. Even when we have increased 
this amount by the difference in money value, the disparity between past 
and present prices is very great. A hundred years ago, according to a 
contemporary print, farm labour in Skipton was remunerated as follows : 
— Day labourers, Is. to Is. 2d. per day, food not provided. Ten years 
afterwards a man-servant received £10 10s., with board, for a year's 
work ; a woman received half that amount ; while day labourers were 
paid 2s. a day, without food. This increase followed upon the introduc- 
tion of cotton manufacture to a district not then very populous. 

A view of agriculture in the " Vale of Skipton," written by a Craven 
farmer in 1793, and contained in ''View of the Agriculture of the West 
Riding" (Robert Brown, 1799), will be of interest : — 

" With regard to the ancient state of this vale, I do not find, upon inquiry, that 
there has been any material alteration or improvement for the last century or more ; in 
some parts of Craven, though not near Skipton, I understand that even within the 
last 40 years there was a considerable portion of land in tillage ; the ploughing was 
then performed by four or six oxen, and one or two horses ; and I am informed that 
mode of husbandry answered very well. Craven was then famous for a breed of 
long-horned cattle, particularly oxen ; but since the introduction of Scotch cattle and 
grazing into the country the long-horned breed and of course the tUlage have been 
neglected. One cause of this is the easy expense that attends this mode of husbandry ; 
with one servant and two horses a farmer can very conveniently manage seven or 
eight hundred acres of land ; indeed most of the grazing farms in this vale are very 
large— often three or four are united under one occupier. The Earl of Thanet is the 
principal proprietor of land in Skipton and, I am told, is not willing that his fine land 
should be ploughed ; but it would certainly be a gi-eat advantage to the neighbourhood 
if a proper mixture of grazing and tillage could be introduced; for though the country 
is not and never will be populous while the present mode of husbandry and 
monopolizing farms prevails, yet corn is generally higher in Craven than in most 
parts of the kingdom, because so very little is produced. If you suggest to them that 
the uplands may be kept in tillage, the reply is that they are so much exposed to 
mists, and the situation is so cold, that corn, particularly wheat, cannot seed or ripen. 
This may be in part just, but the stronger reason with them seems to be that the 
uplands are very useful to them upon their present plan, to prepare the lean cattle for 
the better pastures, which some say would be too rich for them in that state ; nor 
would their improvement at first be equal to such keeping. Grazing is the general 
mode of occupation in this vale, except in the neighbourhood of the manufacturing 
towns, where convenience will command a higher rent than the grazier can afford to pay. 
Six pounds per statute acre, and sometimes more, will be given for land in such situa- 
tions—grazing will not answer to half that price. The favourite grazing stock here are 


the black Scotch cattle, — some sheep, but on the lowlands very few, and on the 
uplands and moors they are not very numerous. The following is the price of 
labour : — A man servant about ten guineas per year, with board and washing in his 
master's house ; a woman about five guineas, vsdth the same ; day labourers in 
husbandry about 2s. or 2s. 6d, per day, finding theii- own victuals ; about ten years ago 
Is. or Is. 2d. was the common price ; the advance was owing to the introduction of the 
cotton manufactory into a country so little populous. They work from six to six in 
summer, and from eight to dark in winter. Price of provisions for the last year : — Beef, 
mutton, veal, and pork about ■i^d. per j)ound of 16 ounces ; butter about Is. or Is, Id. 
per pound of 22 ounces ; wheat about 8s, per Winchester bushel ; oats 28s. to 30s. per 
quarter. Our roads are very much improved of late. The canal which is carried 
through this valley seems to have taught us the possibility of making tolerably level 
roads, even in a mountainous country ; several excellent ones have been made within 
the last five years ; the materials chiefly limestone, broken to about the size of an egg. 
Skipton was a very famous corn market at one time. The farmers and dealers 
purchased at Knaresborough market, and resold at Skipton, whence the corn was 
distributed among the towns to the west." 

It would be an unpardonable omission if I were not to refer to the 
Craven Agricultural Society, and to that triumph of agriculture the 
Craven Heifer. The present society was formed in July, 1855, "for 
promoting the bi'eeding of good stock, and to encourage improvements 
in agriculture." The first president was Sir Charles Tempest. The 
society has run a prosperous course, and at the present time its exhibi- 
tions, which are held at Skipton, rank among the best of the country. 
But this is not the first Graven Agricultural Society, An association 
bearing this name held exhibitions at Skipton as early as 1813, and the 
president then, curiously enough, was Mr, Stephen Tempest, father of 
Sir Charles, Many people will no doubt be interested in the following 
advertisement taken from the Leeds Mercury of October 23rd, 1813, 
relating to the earlier Agricultural Society : — 

Craven Ar/ricuUural Society. 

THIS Society held its Autumnal Meeting the 1st 
September, 1813, for the SHEW of CATTLE, 
when the follo^ving Premiums were adjudged, viz. 


To Thos, Chamberlain, Esq., for the best Three 

Year old short horned Heifer, 5 ."j 

To Mr. Wm, Tindal for the second best Ditto,... 3 3 
To Thomas Chamberlain, Esq., for the best Two 

Year old short horned Heifer, 5 5 

To Stephen Tempest, Esq., for the second best 

Ditto, 3 3 

To Mr. Thomas Fell for the best Four Year old 

or aged long horned Cow, 5 5 

To R, H. Uoundell, Esq., for the second best Do, 3 3 
To Mr, Thomas Fell for the best long horned 

Three Year old Heifer 5 5 

No Competitor. 



To Josias Morley, Esq., for the best Shearing 
Ram, 3 3 

To Mr. Blake for the best Two Shear Ditto, ...3 3 

To Mr. D. Green for the best Pen of Gimmers,... 5 

To Stephen Robinson, Husbandman, for having 
brought up the greatest Number of Children 
without Parochial Relief 2 2 

To the same for Premium for having continued 

longest in the same service 2 2 

The Shew of Cattle was very considerable and 

select, and the Meeting was numerously attended. 
Mr. Chamberlain shewed a Heifer and a Cow for 

which he has refused 110 guineas. 

STEPHEN TEMPEST, Esq., President. 

JOHN YORKE, Esq. ) y- presidents 

EDWARD FERRAND, Esq. / ^^^^ rresiaents. 

By Order, 
WM. TINDAL, Secretary. 

This statement shows that the modest sum of £46 4s. was in 1813 
ofifered in prize-money. At present about <£500 is given annually. 
Elsewhere in the same paper appears the following news-paragraph : — 

" We understand that Stephen Parkinson [Robinson], the old man who obtained 
two Premiums at the Craven Agricultural Society, one for having brought up ten 
children without parochial relief, and the other for having continued in the same 
service in husbandry 47 years, tho' now 79 years old, is still both able and willing to 

The noted animal known distinctively as the Craven Heifer was bred 
by the Kev. W. Carr, of Bolton Abbey, and from its immense propor- 
tions it was at once the wonder and the admiration of the farmers of 
many an English shire during its five years' existence, 1807-1812. At 
four years of age, the animal was bought from Mr. Carr by one John 
Watkinson, of Halton East, for £200, and he travelled with it round 
the country. In the Leeds Mercury of November 2nd, 1811, appears an 
advertisement, announcing that Watkinson intended taking the heifer 
to London, and would " show her at some of the principal towns on his 
way thither." This speculation did not pay Watkinson, and he allowed 
the animal to be competed for in a cock-fight. An engxaving of the 
heifer appeared shortly after its death, but its fame will be more 
durably handed down to coming generations by the circumstance that a 
picture of it adorns the paper money of the Craven Bank Company, 
Limited. Previously to the year 1817 these notes bore an engraving of 
Castleberg Rock, Settle. The " Craven Heifer" is the sign of more than 
one Craven inn at the present day. 


We come now to manufactures. At the beginning of the fourteenth 
century, when Robert de Chfford came into possession of the castle and 
honour of Skipton, there was ah-eady a fulling-mill in this town, although 
this does not imply the existence of a manufactory ; and in a survey 
made in 1G09, wherein are shown the comparative valuations for that 
year and the year 1311, the mill is thus mentioned : — 

1609. — The p'fitt of the fulling mille then was xs. and now paieth butt vis. 

It may be observed here that fidlinff-mill and walk-mill are synonymous 
terms. The walker became so known from the custom of thickenine: 
cloth by treading it, before machinery was employed. The new fuUing 
machinery did not at once give satisfaction, for a complaint was made 
to Edward IV. that hats, caps, and bonnets " had hitherto been made, 
wrought, fulled, and thickcd in the wonted manner," that is to say, with 
hands and feet, and that the machinery did the work in a very inferior 
manner. Langland refers thus to the process o^fuUing : — 

" Cloth that Cometh fro the wevyng 
Is nought comely to wear 
Til it bo fulled under foot, 
Or in fullyng stokkes, 
Washen wel with water 
And with teasles cracched 
Y-touked and y-teynted, 
And under taillour's hand." 

Dyeing was also carried on in Skipton nearly six centuries ago, and the 
record already quoted from speaks of " The fine or rent for Lytsters, then 
[1311] rated at xxs,, of long time had yielded nothing, and now [1609] 

Very helpful to us in this consideration of the commercial history of 
our town is the list of Skipton tax-payers in 1379 contained in "The 
Rolls of the Collectors in the West Riding of the Lay Subsidy (Poll-tax) 
2 Richard II., Wapentake of Staincliflfe."* It is as follows : — 

" Shjpton, 

Stephanus de Malgham, Draper, & vx ijs. 

Johannes Hcnkesworth', Spicer, & vx ijs. 

Robertus de Lcdes, Mercator, & vx xijtZ. 

Robertus Bayllic & vx iiij'^ 

Hugo Haweir & vx iiijc/. 

Willelmus Pulter' & vx iiijtZ. 

Willelums Dawson & vx iiijti. 

Thomas do Wrosc & vx ni]d. 

* Journal of the Yorkshire Archocological and Topographical Association : No. xxvi. 


Willelmus Groper' & vx md. 

Kobertus Wodhewer' & vx iiijc?. 

Marinus de Thornton & vx iiijc^. 

Petrus de Thorp' & vx iiij^. 

Thomas de Malghom, Cissor, & vx vj«i. 

Robertus Thorbrand junior, Textor, & vx vid. 

Raynerus de Selesden, Harbeiour, & vx xij(?. 

WUlelmus Sereir & vx iiijrf. 

Thomas ffele & vx i^jd. 

Robertus Hyrd & vx iiij«^. 

Johannes Drjruer' & vx iiij<^. 

Robertus Thorbrand senior & vx : iiijt^. 

Petrus Pynder' & vx iiij'^- 

Willelmus Mune & vx md. 

Johannes Skypton, & vx Jii]d, 

Johannes Lambe, ffuUo, & vx vjd. 

Johannes Warner' & vx iiijd. 

Willelmus de Werdlay & vx iiijc^. 

Adam filius Elie & vx ^d. 

Henricus scriuiens Ranulphy & vx iiijc^. 

Willelmus Thorbrand' & vx md. 

Johannes Groper' & vx iiij'^- 

Willelmus Schyphird & vx iiijt^. 

Johannes Lassy, Carnifex, & vx vjcZ. 

Willelmus Pykhan & vx vjd 

Johannes Danald' & vx iiij<^. 

Willelmus Sparowe & vx iiijf^. 

Willelmus Rogerson, Cissor, & vx vjd 

Willelmus Gierke & vx iiijd 

Thomas de Chambre & vx iiijd 

Thomas Boyneir& vx iiijd 

Rogerus de Sleue & vx iiijd 

Antoyn Tailliour, Cissor, &vx vjd 

Willelmus Walkere, FuUo & vx xijd 

Willelmus filius Ranulphi, Sutor, & vx xiid 

Robertus Spycer', Spycer', & vx xijd 

Rogerus Roper', Roper', & vx xijd 

Petrus Brabaner, Webster, & vx xijd 

Petrus Brabaynner junior, Webstre & vx vjd 

Robertus Mason, Mason, & vx vjd 

Willelmus Webstre, Webster, & vx xijd 

Johannes Doweson, Faber', & vx vjd 

Walterus Tailliour, Cissor, & vx vjd 

Willelmiis Grane, Glouer, & vx vjd 

Johannes Launder', Cissor, & vx vjd 

Johannes Lorimer' & vx vjd 

Thomas Marescair& vx iiijd 

Seruient — Agnes Bakstre iiijd 

Radulphus scruiens Randulphi Selesdeyn iiijd 

Matilda Hyrd' iiij<^. 

Alicia Doghty iiijd 

Matilda de Cownall' iiijd 



Willelmus scruiens Willelmi Webstre uiid, 

Willelrans Hodson iiijcZ. 

Willelmus Battson (?) Ui]d. 

Alicia Ben iiijcZ. 

Isabella Barker' iiijti. 

Johannes Grane iiijci. 

Thomas de Bentham iiijc?, 

Alicia Semstre iiijcZ. 

Agnes Semestre iiijcJ. 

Agnes de Greues ; iiijd. 

Margareta Mayne iiijc^. 

Margareta Bacone iiijc^. 

Suiiuna — xxxvs. 

It is impossible to give the whole of the tax-payers in the other 
towns and villages of East Staincliffe; but the amounts contributed 
may be named : — • 









(of which Henricus de 
Pudsay gave 20s.) 







Cold Coniston 




Cracoe (Grakhowe) 







Hal ton over the Hill 






Preston (Long) 

s. d. 
12 10 
22 10 
21 4 
21 6 

8 4 

9 10 
48 4 


11 4 
18 10 

8 8 
5 10 

16 2 

9 4 
14 4 
21 10 

7 8 
G 4 

12 6 





8 6 
14 2 

8 6 

15 6 

Marton 35 4 

Hetton 14 

Linton 9 2 

Hawkswick 9 2 

ArnclifiFe 15 2 

Draughton 7 

Calton 15 

Farnhill 14 6 

Rimington 25 4 

Thornton ; 23 6 

Newsholme 11 8 

Otterburn 5 6 

Hartlington 2 8 

Rathmell 11 10 

Burnsall 12 4 

HaltonWest 10 2 

Settle 17 10 

Newton-in-Bowland 11 8 

Kii'kby 5 

Giggleswick 21 8 

Kettlewell 19 10 

Buckden 17 G 

Litton 12 10 

Stainforth 32 

(of which Robertas de 
Staynford paid 20s.) 

Newton- juxta-Gargrave 14 10 

Airton 7 10 

Eshton G 6 

Gargrave 21 G 

Threshfield 8 2 

Embsay 11 4 

Sutton 7 10 

Slaidbura 1? 10 





Horton 7 

Pathenall 19 

Bracewell 33 

Mitton 10 




Summa totalis de 
Staincliffe lu.]li. xixs. ijc?. 



Bradford (West) 11 

Grindleton 14 

Rascheholne 11 

Hamerton 12 

Easington 5 

Cowling 8 

Waddington 26 

East Staincliflfe contributed £53 19s. 2d. towards the £341 3s. 4d. 
raised in the Riding. Leeds contributed £3 Os. 4d. 

In 1649 I find mention of a dyehouse in Skipton : it is contained in a 
rent-roll for that year. Lancelot Iveson was the occupier. In 1652 
the dyehouse was held by one of the same family : — 

Thomas Ivenson, for his house and dyehouse, £1 10s. 

In the same rent-roll " Walk-mill " is mentioned : — 

Richard Wharffe, for ye Walke Milne, one cottage, two guard'n, one barne, and 
one little crofte, £5 6s. 8d, 

This was a half-year's rent. In a record of the leases granted by Lady 
Anne Clifford in 1650 there is mention of one " James Dolfin, of Skipton, 
Linnen webster," who came into possession of certain premises in " the 
New Markett in Skipton afforesaid," the conditions of tenancy being 
payment of £5 yearly, one load of coals to the castle, and suit to court, 
corn-mills, &c. A record of the year 1686 gives us the position of the 
fulling-mill : — " All that fulling mill situate, standing, and being below 
Skipton Mill-bridge, upon the Eller-beck, on the west side of the towne 
of Skipton." The mill was then in the occupation of Thomas Iveson and 
Thomas Bishop, and was said to be in very bad repair, wherefore the 
rent was i-educed. In a document of the year 1654 occurs the name of 
"James Poison, of Skipton, a linnen webster," and in one of 1655 the 
name of "Ambrose Witton, a felt maker." It is possible that the 
following entry in an account-book for the year 1692 belonging to the 
steward of the then Earl of Thanet may refer to the introduction or 
intended introduction of new manufactures in Skipton : — 

April 17.— Spent in a journey to York to discourse Mr. Thompson about the 
lynen manufacture, being there two nights, he being at his country 
seat, 13s. Oc^. 

It may, however, be that this interview had reference only to arrange- 
ments for the execution of an order for goods. 

Here it may be mentioned that in 1675 thirty persons were indicted 
at Skipton Sessions for following the trade of butcher without having 
been apprenticed to it. 


Entries in the Skipton parish register bearing upon manufactures 
may be quoted : — 

"1600. — Aprill the 20th, was bur. John the sonne of Hyndle, the sysev, of 

Tn 1659, among baptismal entries, is the following : — 

" Nov. 2, Ann, daughter of William Whittlars, of Skipton, webster." 

From 1717 to 1725 there are many entries of weavers and wool-combers. 
In 1 743 there is mention of "Thomas Goodgion, of Skipton, stocking 
weaver," in 1742 of "hecklers," and in 1751 of "shalloon weavers." In 
1783 one George Walker is spoken of as a worsted weaver. 

Hand-loom weaving was sixty or eighty years ago an important 
industry in Skipton. Indeed the houses forming Union Square were 
built with special accommodation for hand-loom weavers. Each house 
was furnished with two stories above the ground floor, the top room 
being intended as a work-room. In his County Directory for 1822, Mr. 
Edward Baines writes as follows of Skipton : — " The Leeds and Liver- 
pool canal, which skirts the town of Skipton on the south-west side, 
affords great facility to trade, and connects it with both the eastern and 
western sea. Some manufactures are caiTied on in the town, but they 
are not to any great extent ; the all-pervading cotton trade has for some 
years had a footing here, and a considerable number of webs are pro- 
duced in the course of the year in this town and neighbourhood." The 
cotton manufacturers given for that year are : — Messrs. William Beesley, 
Spencer' s-street ; Isaac Dewhurst, spinner, Newmarket-street; William 
Sidgwick, spinner. Market-place ; John Tillotson, Belmont ; and Storey 
Watkinson, Newmarket-street. Mr. Beesley, Mr. Tillotson, and Mr. 
Watkinson employed but few workpeople. The following are given as 
worsted spinners : — Messrs. John and William Birkbeck and Co., Com- 
mercial-street, and Mr. James Wilson. Mr. Wilson occupied the building 
now used as spindle-works, which gave the name Millfields to the rising 
ground adjoining, upon which now stand a large number of cottage 
houses. He did not, however, work on an extensive scale. The lower 
room was in his time used as a paper glazing mill. About forty years 
ago the mill was occupied by Messrs. Mason and Hallam, worsted 
spinners, and Mr. Hallam afterwards carried it on alone. In the same 
directory are mentioned — Mr. Thomas Hanson, linen manufactiu'er, 
Market-place ; and Mr. James Smith, wool comb maker, School-street. 

Power-looms were first introduced into Skipton by the firm of 
Dewhurst about the year 1829. It is a circumstance illustrative of the 



popular feeling of that time, that the looms were brought with absolute 
secrecy, and securely boxed up, so that it might not be known what 
they were. The following extract taken from the return of cotton mills 
in Yorkshire given in Baines' History of the Cotton, Manufacture (1835) 
is interesting : — 




Kettlewell ... 






Colne , 


No. OP 

Horse Power. 











• •• 











• •• 













Total Number 
op People 
. Employed. 







The oldest manufacturing firm in Skipton is that of the Sidgwicks, 
and the oldest mill is the High Mill, in the Castle Woods, the earliest 
part of which dates back to the year 1785. A lease was in that year 
(March 1st) granted by Sackville, Earl of Thanet Island, to Messrs. Peter 
Garforth, John Blackburn, and John Sidgwick. The Mr. J. Sidgwick 
here mentioned was brother- in-law to Mr. Garforth, and father of Mr. 
Wm. Sidgwick, who at that date was twenty years old, and probably 
when of age became a partner in the fii'm. In 1806 he was the sole 
lessee. At this time the High Mill was engaged in spinning cotton 
yarn, on the old wooden frames. In 1825 the firm consisted of Mr. 
W. Sidgwick and his sons, Mr. Jno. B. Sidgwick and Mr. Chris. Sidgwick, 
who after their father's death in 1827 carried on the business until in 
about six years Mr. C. Sidgwick retired and was succeeded by his 
brother James. In 1839 the Low Mill was built for weaving and 
weft spinning, and in 1840 it began to be worked, being at that time 
conducted by Messrs. J. B. and B. H. Sidgwick. Messrs. J. B. and 
James Sidgwick, however, continued to work the High Mill, until in 
1865 the latter retired, and the firm became Messrs. J, B. Sidgwick 
and Co., into whose hands both mills passed. The mills are still in the 
same occupation. Weaving is now done at the High Mill upon a small 
scale, in addition to spinning. 


The founder of Belle Vue Mills, Mr. John Dewhurst, carried on the 
business of a cotton spinner in the neighbourhood of Skipton some 
time before he built those mills. The books of the firm show 
transactions in yarn as early as 1794. The earliest mill was run 
for the first time on February 17th, 1829, being then used for 
worsted spinning and weaving. On Sunday, January 2nd, 1831, it 
was burnt to the ground. The mill was re-built with astonishing quick- 
ness, for before the end of the year it was working again, now as a 
cotton mill. In 1852 the mill was greatly extended, and a shed to hold 
385 looms was added. A further enlargement took place in 1859 and 
1860. In 1863-4 a warehouse was erected on the site of the Old Work- 
house. During the years 1867 to 1870 the newest and largest mill, a 
noble building adjacent to Broughton-road, was erected. This mill was 
run for the first time on February 4th, 1870. The building is 225 feet in 
length, and 70 feet 8 inches in width. It is five stories high, and the 
rooms are lighted by twenty windows in each side, and six in each end. 
The entire factory premises of Messrs. Dewhurst have a floor area of 20,000 
square yards. More than 800 operatives are in continual employment. 
Belle Vue Mills are engaged in the spinning and weaving of cotton, and 
in the manufacture of sewing cotton, all the varied processes, including 
dyeing, being performed on the premises. The thread manufactured by 
Messrs. Dewhurst bears a very high reputation. Wherever exhibited it 
has received prize medals : at the Vienna Universal Exhibition of 1873, 
at the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876, and at the Paris Exhibition of 
1878, medals were awarded to this firm. The firm now goes under the 
style of Messrs. John Dewhurst and Sons. It consists of Mr. J. B. 
Dewhurst and Mr. T. H. Dewhurst, sons of the founder, and Mr. 
Algernon Dewhurst, son of Mr. J. B. Dewhurst. 

Several weaving sheds have been erected within recent years. The 
Skipton Mill Company was formed in 1866, and in that year built a 
large shed by the side of the canal, and opposite to what is known as 
"The Firth." This they extended in 1876, and there is now room for 
800 looms. At present (1882) four firms occupy portions of the shed, 
viz., Messrs. Joseph Smith and Son, Mr. Alfred Smith, Messrs. Smith 
Hartley and Sons, and Messrs. J. and E. Wilkinson. The goods manu- 
factured are winceys, stripes, and checks. In 1877 Firth Shed was 
built by Mr. Samuel Farey, and the following year it was first run. 
Here are manufactured winceys and dyed cotton goods for the Bradford 
and Manchester markets. The building will hold 300 looms. Ware- 
houses and dressing-room are attached to it. The building stands in an 



acre-and-a-half of ground, which, from its suitability for the purpose, 
will probably be used at some time for similar erections. Mr. George 
Walton in 1877-8 built for himself a large shed on the canal bank in 
Keighley-road, beyond the Old Toll-bar, and in June of the latter year 
first ran machinery there. The premises comprise weaving shed (holding 
500 looms), warehouses, weft-room, engine and boiler houses, finishing 
room, and offices, and they stand upon 3,300 square yards of ground. 
The building is now occupied by two firms — Mr. G. Walton (the owner) 
and Messrs. Walton, Hainsworth, and Co. Here are manufactured dress 
goods, skirtings, and shirtings. 

Having dealt with agriculture and the textile industry, a glance must 
be given at the more ordinary trades of the town. Tanning and 
currying are very old Skipton industries. In 1619 I read of one 
" Thomas Barrows, the currier, of Skipton." In 1685 also there lived 
here one Thomas Kitching, skinner, of Skipton, who was accepted by 
the then Earl of Thanet as tenant of certain lands and tenements in 
Skipton, including "one close called Towley, two acres and a halfe, with 
all that one shoppe being in y** shambles of y^ towne, one cottage, and 
skinne house," &c. Until very recent years tanning was carried on upon 
an extensive scale upon land now owned by Messrs. Dewhurst, in 

The parish registers for the years 1700 to 1750 show that we had 
then in Skipton — 



Badgers (corn-dealers) 












Colliers (1730) 










Hecklers (1742) 












Shalloon-weavers (1751) 

Stocking-weavers (1743) 
(Thomas Goodgion, of 
Skipton, March 3rd.) 
Weavers ) 
Websters ' 

In the seventeenth century, when the currency was scarce, Skipton 


tradesmen, in common with those of many other towns, issued tokens. 
The following are descriptions of five of them : — 

Half-penny Tokens.* 

Ob.— ROBERT - LVND - GROCER = (The Grocer's Arms) 
JRe.— in - SKIPTON - 16G6 = his half peny 

Be.— OF - SKIPTON - 1668 = B - E - D 

Penny Tokens. 

Ob.— ANN - GREENE - OP - SKIPTON = (The Grocer's Arms) 
Be.— I - WILL - EXCHAiNG - MY - PENY = (A Fleur-de-lys) 1670. 

Be. — I - WILL - EXCHANGE - MY - PENY = 1671 - 1D. 

Ob. — SAMVELL - GREENE - IN - SKIPTON = (The Draper's Arms) 
Be.— I - WILL - - EXCHAING - MY - PENY = (The Mercer's Arms) 

Stone-quarrying has long been carried on about Skipton. At Skipton 
or Hawbank Rock, which lies at a distance of half-a-mile from the town, 
work is found for nearly a hundred men. The rock was opened 
considerably more than a hundred years ago. At first the stone was 
carted through the town to the canal, for the Springs had not at that 
time been constructed. But as the excellent quality of the limestone 
became more widely known, the demand for it soon far exceeded the 
extent of local wants, and an easier method of conveyance was rendered 
imperative. Accordingly, in 1773 the Right Hon. Sackville, Earl of 
Thanet, obtained Parliamentary powei'S for the making of a canal at the 
foot of the cliff "from a place called the Spring, lying near Skipton 
Castle, CO. York, to join and communicate with the navigable canal from 
Leeds to Liverpool in a close called Hebble End Close, in the township 
of Skipton, in the said co. of York." Upon the construction of the 
Springs Canal, the stone was at first brought along a tramway as far as 
the entrance to the Show-field, and thence to the eastern end of the 
castle upon a precisely similar level. The old buttresses of this high 
way may yet be seen. As the fall of the stone to the canal bank was 
very great, it was found necessary to alter this mode of bringing the 
stone to the boats, and about the year 183G the present incline tram- 
way was mjide. The Skipton Rock was first worked by the owners of 
Skipton Castle, but the Canal Company afterwards took it, and they 
still continue the lessees. 

* The mark = signifies that what follows is in the centre or field of the coin. The writing 
in brackets signifies a figxire (usually the arms of one of the City Trading Companies) in the 


The limestone quarries near Snaygill, known as the Bold Venture 
Quarries, were opened in 1866 by Mr, Henry Robinson. The stone 
"was used for road-making. Many years ago, a quaiTy known as Massa 
Flatts was worked, but it was pretty nearly exhausted long ago. 

The Craven Lead Works, in Keighley-road, were established in 1835 
by Messrs. John Fell and Forster Horner. In 1828, however, Mr. 
Robert Fell, who kept the Thanet's Arms Inn, was a lead merchant, 
though not a manufacturer, in Skipton. In 1846 the firm became 
Mr. F. Horner and the executors of Mr. John Fell In 1858 Messrs. 
Forster Horner, Robert Fell, and Leonard Horner constituted the 
partnership, and in 1881 the business passed into the hands of Messrs. 
Robert Fell and Sons. Sheet lead, water pipes, and gas tubing are 
manufactured at these works. 

In the spring of 1872 a bobbin manufactory was begun at Skipton by 
Mr. Adam Ellison and others. The building in which the work was 
carried on stands by the side of the canal, in what is now known as 
Middletown. Success did not, however, attend the new industry, and 
it was given up. A similar fate was shared by Mr. Ellison's successors 
in the same business. 

Paper-making was on a small scale carried on in Skipton up to a few 
years ago by the late Mr. John Roberts. Some time before 1822 
Mr. Henry Ovington carried on the paper manufacture in Skipton in the 
building adjoining the corn-mill on Chapel-hill. In that year he is 
named as a paper manufacturer in a directory of the Riding. His 
predecessors were Mr. P. Garforth and Mr. D. Binns. The paper was 
glazed in a room in the present Spindle-works. When Mr. Ovington 
gave up the business, the paper mill was vacant for a long time. 
About the year 1856, however, Mr. John Roberts again started the 
manufacture, and on his death he was followed by his son Mr. 
Nicholas Roberts and Mr. Henry Booth, who carried it on until 1880, 
when they also retired from this branch of business. The building now 
forms part of Messrs. Mattock's corn-mill. 

There are two corn-mills in the town, both of which have been estab- 
lished a great many years. One, indeed, that on Chapel-hill, is the 
* descendant ' of the ' water-corne milne ' mentioned in a survey of the 
fourteenth century. The other is the Victoria Mill, erected in 1847 
by the late Mr. William Wilkinson, and is situated by the side 
of the canal. On Thursday morning, shortly after midnight, November 
12th, 1868, a serious fire occurred here. The fire broke out in the 
upper story of the mill, and when discovered had shown itself through 


the roof. As the canal runs alongside of the mill, an exhaustless supply 
of water was at hand, and the fire was fortunately subdued before 
damage to a very serious extent had been done. 

About the year 1800 Mr, Richard Myers began rope making in 
Skipton, his ' walk' occupying the site of the present premises of Mr. T. 
Carter, which are parallel with Otley-street. On Mr. Myers' death his 
son John continued the business of rope-making, but in 1852 Mr. 
Thomas Carter succeeded him. During Mr. Carter's time the 'walk' has 
been enclosed. Rope-making in every branch is carried on here. In 
1822, in addition to Richard Myers, John Buck was a rope-maker in 
Skipton. His ' walk ' occupied the site of Providence Place. 


It is impossible to pass over the labour disturbances which extended 
over a great portion of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the summer of 
1842, The town of Skipton was affected in this way only — that it was, 
on the 16th of August, invaded by a Lancashire mob of some 3,000 
persons, who stopped the mills, and put the inhabitants into a state of 
terror from which it took them several days to recover. The time was 
one of great national trade depression. Many causes assisted to 
produce it. Textile operatives attributed it to the substitution of power 
for hand-worked machinery. By some political economists it was 
traced to "the increased capital applied to manufacturing pur- 
poses ;" by others to the state of the currency. Another factor in the 
distress which prevailed amongst the working classes was the restriction 
then placed upon the import of corn. To give work to the multitude 
of unemployed inhabitants, public works, such as the construction of 
roads, were undertaken. It was so in our own locality. Unfortunately, 
the textile operatives of East Lancashire did not bear their troubles 
with the fortitude that characterised their near Yorkshire neighbours. 
Perhaps it was that they suffered in a gi-eater degree. However that 
may have been, they declared that man was " born to live and not to 
clem,"* and that as they had nothing of their own on which to prolong 
existence, they should apply to, and if necessary extract from, those in 
the enjoyment of plenty. It was at the beginning of the third week in 
August that a foraging expedition started eastward from the neighbour- 

Ckm, to starve, hunger. 


hood of Colne and Burnley. Their mission was threefold. They intended 
to demand food all along the route, to put a stop to steam-power 
employment — to which in a great measure they attributed their troubles 
— and, by inviting operatives everywhere to join them, to form a move- 
ment so gigantic that their demands should not be withstood. The men 
were armed with heavy clubs, and walked four abreast. Their staves were 
carried horizontally, each man having hold of two sticks by the ends ; 
the idea being probably that by marching thus their ranks would with 
difficulty be disordered in the event of attack. The leaders wore 
round the arm a strip of white cloth or tape. The rioters obtained the 
name " plug- drawers " because it was their plan to draw the plugs from 
the boilers of all the factories they visited, and thus put an end to 
work. At that time " waggon boilers " were generally used, the fire 
being underneath the boiler and not in a flue through it, as is usual now. 
An iron plug was inserted in the bottom of the boiler, and this knocked 
out, the water of course escaped. Like a ball of snow the mob increased 
at every step. The fame of the rioters preceded them to Skipton, and 
when on the morning of Tuesday, the 16th August, it became known 
that this town was to be visited the good folk were thrown into a state 
of profound alarm. They arrived in the afternoon, to the number of 
3,000 persons, including men, women, and children. They came by 
Broughton, and were met at a short distance from the town by Mr. 
T. H. Ingham and other magistrates, who did their utmost to dissuade 
them against proceeding farther ; but without avail. Mr. Ingham then 
rode on to Burnley to obtain the assistance of the military. Mean- 
while, a perfect panic existed in Skipton. Business was entirely 
suspended ; shops were shut, the windows of the private houses were 
closed or the blinds drawn, and the doors in many cases securely 
fastened. While a portion of the mob at once visited the mill of Mr. 
Dewhurst, the remainder went round the town, levying black-mail 
everywhere. They entered shops and houses, and without resistance 
carried away the provisions that first met their eyes. In a multitude of 
instances the householders had provided food against their coming, 
knowing this to be one of their demands. Where remonstrance was 
ventured, the only reply given by the plug-drawers was that they had 
" done as long as they well could, so now they were like to take off t' 
lump ! " — an expression about which there could be no misunderstand- 
ing. The local magistrates had not been, heedless of the expected visit. 
Mr. M. Wilson, sen., Mr. Cooper Preston, Mr. J. Garforth (all deceased), 
and Mr. M. Wilson, jun. (now Sir Mathew) were soon busy swearing men 
in as special constables, pending the arrival of the military. 


On visiting Mr. Dewhurst's mill, the water was let off from the 
boiler by the mob, and work was stopped. Mr. W. Sidgwick's (Low) 
mill was next treated in the same manner, and at the High Mill the 
plugs were drawn from the boilers, the fires were raked out, and a 
peremptory order was given that the workmen should be turned away. 
Here money was demanded of Mr. John Sidgwick, as a condition of the 
withdrawal of the mob, and was given. The rioters then left; but 
with the threat that if the mill was worked without their consent they 
would return and do mischief. The violence of the plug-drawers was 
such that at last the magistrates had the Riot Act read in the market- 
place, and the mob soon afterwards were persuaded to withdraw from 
the town. They halted in a field known as Annahills, by the side of the 
road to Carleton. Here 'again the Riot Act was read. The military 
was now announced as at hand, and soon a portion of the 61st regiment 
of infantry, under Captain Jones, appeared upon the scene. Having 
reached the camping place of the rioters, the soldiers were ordered to 
charge the mob, and they drove them into the adjoining road, whence 
were thrown volleys of stones in reprisal. One soldier was so severely 
injured that he died shortly afterwards. Mr. Garforth, the magistrate, 
also received in the same manner injury to one of his eyes so serious 
that he was unable afterwards to see with it. But the defence of the 
rioters was brief, for no sooner did the military prepare to follow them 
into the lane than they took to their heels as for very life, and clamber- 
ing over wall and hedge dispersed in all directions. Not a single shot 
was fired by the soldiers. This bloodless struggle obtained the name — 
by which it is yet known — of " Annahills Fight." 

The good folk of Skipton now breathed more freely; but it was a 
long time before the town regained its normal quiet. A contemporary 
newspaper had the following despatch from Skipton eleven days after 
the riot : — 

"This towa has remained perfectly tranquil since the outrage of Tuesday, the 
IGth, immediately after which the magistrates present, consisting of M. Wilson, M. 
Wilson, jun., T. Hastings Ingham, and C. Preston, Esqrs., had a conference with the 
mill-owners, and pledged themselves to protect them by the presence of the military if 
they would immediately commence rimning their mills. ' This was instantly acted 
upon, and we believe every workman in the town returned to his work. Some of the 
above magistrates have remained in the town day and night during the last week. In 
consequence of the disturbed state of Colne, Captain Jones, of the Gist regiment, was 
ordered back to that town, and thus Skipton was left without military protection. 
The magistrates being determined to keep the mills I'unning, applied to Major-General 
Brotherton for troops, and wo arc glad to say that a comjjany of the 73rd regiment, 
under the command of Cai)tain Widdington, marched into the town as early as seven 
o'clock on Tuesday morning, and took possession of most comfortable barracks in tho 


fine old castle of the Earl of Thanet. An example of energy has been shown by the 
magistrates and inhabitants of Skipton, which, if it had been acted upon in other 
places, we are sure the course of these mischievous people would have been sooner 
checked. Measures are still in progress which it is hoped will ere long lead to the 
apprehension of more of the ringleaders in these riotous proceedings." 

Six men were apprehended — William Smith (46), who appears to have 
been the ring-leader, John Spencer (50), William Spencer (47), John 
Harland (38), Edward Hey (32), and James Dakin (27) — and at the 
York Assizes, held on Thursday, September 1st, 1842, were arraigned 
" for having at Skipton with force and arms, together with divers other 
evil-disposed persons, riotously and tumultuously assembled, to the terror 
of the Queen's subjects." It is unnecessary to give the evidence brought 
against them. Suffice it to say that the men were all found guilty, and 
were sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment. The late Mr. C. 
Sidgwick assisted in the identification of several of the prisoners. 

It may be noted that soon after the Plug-drawing Riot a farcical 
imitation took place. About thii'ty or forty mischievous young men of 
Skipton banded themselves together, and went as far as Linton and 
Grassington, terrifying the simple country-folk, who, glad to get off so 
easily, supplied them with bread and beer from the upper windows, 
and in some cases with money. Other of the farmers, of a more 
practical turn, presented their loaded guns, and were thus unmolested. 
Public-houses were visited, and the mob helped themselves to the best. 
The terror they occasioned was the greater since they took care to assure 
every household they entered that additional operatives were coming 
from Skipton. News of the affair reached Skipton, however, and a 
handful of men — special constables — hastened after the imposters, who 
at sight of them fled in all directions. 



ECULIAR are many of the modes of punishment which 
were adopted in Skipton in years gone by. Whipping 
was a very common one. "Three centuries ago," says 
Chambers's Booh of Days, "the flagellation of vagrants 
and similar characters for slight offences was carried to a cruel 
extent. Owing to the dissolution of the monasteries, where the 
poor had chiefly found relief, a vast number of infirm and un- 
employed persons were suddenly thrown on the country without 
any legitimate means of support. These destitute persons were 
naturally led to wander from place to place, seeking a sub- 
sistence from the casual alms of any benevolent persons they might 
chance to meet. This roving and precarious life soon produced its 
natural fruits, and these again produced severe measures of repression. 
By an Act passed in 1531 vagrants were to be 'carried to some market 
town or other place, and there tied to the end of a cart naked, and 
beaten with whips throughout such market town or place till the body 
should be bloody by reason of such whipping.' " This punishment was 
in later years slightly modified, and about the end of Elizabeth's reign it 
was enacted that vagrants should simply be " stripped naked from the 
body upward ; and whipped till the body should be bloody." At one 
time female vagrants shared this punishment equally with male, but in 
1791 the whipping of females was forbidden. 

The West Riding Sessions Rolls of the time of Elizabeth and James I. 
contain interesting references to the punishment of vagrants. At Ponte- 
fract on tlic 25th day of April, 1598, it was " Ordered that tlie statute 
against rouges & vagrant persons shalbc p'claymcd & publiquely read 



in the severall markett townes within this westrid'g as followeth — vidlt. 
on Friday next in Wakefeild, or Saterday next in Halifax & Skipton, on 
Munday next in Leedes, Rotheram, & Selbye, on Thursday next in 
Bradford & Wetherbye, on Wednesday in Barnesley & Knaresbroughe, 
on Twosday next in Sheffeild & Settle," &c. 

A few years later, at the Sessions held at Skipton, a rather curious 
appointment was made : — 

" Bedalefor rowjes in Skipton. 

" Whereas the towne and p'ishe of Skipton is greevously pestred with rouges and 
vagabond persons that swarme in those parts more then in form'r tymes, because they 
now escape unpunished as by the statute is appointed : ytt is therefore ordered that a 
Bedle shalbe by the constable of Skipton appointed for the whipping and punishing 
of such rouges and vagabonds as shall come into that p'ishe, to the end their own 
poore may be the better releived and forreigne beggars may be kept out. And itt is 
alsoe ordered that the sume of twentye sixe shillings eight pence shalbe yearly 
collected and levyed by the constables and churchwardens within that p'ishe and paid 
to the said Beadle as a yearly stipend or wages for his said service. And if any 
person assessed towards the payment of the said twentye six shillings eight pence 
yearly shall refuse to pay the same, then the constable to convey such person soe 
refuseing before Sir Stephen Tempest, Kn't, to be taken bound to answeare his 
contempt in the p'misses at the next sessions."* 

A number of entries in the Kildwick parish register — of which I give 
several — relate no doubt to this punishment by whipping : — 

" 1600.— October the seventh dale, Elizabeth Rawlinge and her two children were 
punished and sent to Brigham in Cumberlande." 

"The same daie Agnes Routditch punisht and sent to Keswicke in Cumb." 
" The fourteenth daie Robert Hewet punished and sent to Lynton." 

In the next entry the offence is expressly given : — 

"The xxth of January, 1600, [1601 N.S.] John Lawson w'th Mary Lawson and 
Alice his daughter were retaken vagrant, punisht, and sent to Malton." 

Other entries there are of a similar nature to the foregoing : — 

" The first of May, 1601, Jane Sheephearde to Knarsbrough, and Margret Adison 
to Colne." 

" The sixt of May, James Hartley punisht and sent to Colne." 
" February 4, 1602.— Jane Smith to Beamesley." 

An instance of whipping at Skipton in 1699 for a very minor offence 
is recorded as follows : — 

Feb. 8.— Charge in haveing sev'all hedge breakers before Mr. Ferrand att 
Kighley, some of wch were ffyn'd and oth'rs whip'd, 6s. 

* Vol. 38, MS. Collection at Eshton Hall (Hopkinson's). 


Flogging at the Cross was continued to a late date at Skipton. There 
still live many old persons who remember seeing men flogged for 
such offences as robbery of goods, or sheep-stealing (onc^ very common). 
Often they were tied fast to a cart-tail, and whipped the whole length of 
the main street, but more commonly offenders were whipped unfettered 
in this way. A nonagenarian once told the writer in expressive language 
that he had seen a man flogged behind a cart in Skipton " until he bled 
like a stuck sheep!" Happily, such scenes have been done away with. 
Francis King, the Skipton Minstrel, a cripple, who died thirty-eight years 
ago, is said to have been flogged as a vagrant at York. In the Court Leet 
records ■ occurs the following entry: — "October 1st, 1740. — Be it 
remembered that the jury allow unto the present Constables four men 
at the expence of the town to assist them in taking vip vagrants, &c., the 
next Martinmass ffairs, not exceeding the expence of 4s. in the whole." 

Branding was the punishment for felons. In an account-book of 
Thomas Earl of Thanet the following interesting entry occurs : — 

1701. — ffor iron worke to the new engine in ye toll booth for burning of ffelona 
in ye cheek, &c., 4s. 10c?. 

Such was one of the modes adopted in the "good old times" for the 
repression of crime. 

Skipton possessed at one time that classic instrument of punishment 
the Ducking Stool. "We have different modes for restraining evil," 
wrote Johnson ; "stocks for the man, a ducldng-stool for women, and a 
pound for beasts." The position of the Skipton ducking-stool I am 
unable to determine, though tradition, which supplies all the deficiencies 
of history, says that it was by the side of the stream flowing past the 
Spindle-works. Nor am I able to give the form of the ducking-stool. 
Probably, however, it was of the common kind — a simple chair fixed 
upon the end of a long beam. This chair was extended over a pool of 
water, and was worked up and down, see-saw fashion, by meafls of a 
pivot in the centre of the beam. The unruly woman was securely 
fastened in the chair, and immersed at will : — 

" Down in the deep the stool descends, 
But here at first we miss our ends ; 
She mounts again and rages more 
Than ever vixen did before. 
If so, my friend, pray let her take 
A second turn into the lake ; 
And rather than your patience lose 
Thrice and ar/ain repeat the dose. 
No brawling wives, no furious wenches, 
No fire so hot, but water quenches." 



Thus an old rhymer sings. In this ducking the unfortunate culprit was 
entirely at the mercy of her correctors. Once over the pool, securely 
bound to the chair, she could not help herself, while her brawling only 
made matters worse. Ducking in this manner was a perfectly legalised 
mode of punishment. At the Wakefield Sessions in 1G02 the justices 
had before them a case which they deemed a fitting one for the ducking- 
stool ; — 

" Punishmt of Hall & Robinson, scolds. 

"fforasmuch as Katherine Hall & M'garet Robinson, of Wakefeild, are great dis- 
turbers & disquieters of their neighbors w'thin the towne of Wakefeild by reason of 
their daily scolding & chydeing, the one w'th the other, for reformacon whereof ytt 
is ordered that if they doe hereafter continue their former course of life in scolding 
& brawling That then John Mawde, the high constable there, shall cause them 
both to be soundlye ducked or cucked on the cuckstoole at Wakefeild for said 


At the Court of Quarter Sessions, held at Leeds in July, 1694, it was 
" ordered that Anne, the wife of Philip Saul, a person of lewd behavior, 
be ducked for daily making strife and discord amongst the neighbours." 
The first reference I have found to the Skipton ducking-stool is in 1734 ; 
when a payment of 8s. 6d. was made on account of it : — 

October 2.— To Wm. Bell, for ducking stool making and wood, 8s. Gd. 


This must surely mean that the chair was changed, for the amount is 
too small for the entire apparatus. In this case a ducking-stool must 
have existed before 1734, which is very likely. In October, 1743, a 
similar payment was made : — 

Ben Smith for ducking stool, 4s. 6d. 

In the same Skipton township account-book occui's the following 
entiy : — 

1768. — October 17 — Paid John Brown for new ducking stool, £1 Os. ll\d. 

I have not, unfortunately, been able to discover when the ducking-stool 
was disused J but there is reason for believing that it was about 1770. 

Another punishment was that of doing Penance in Church for im- 
morality. It was a very general one in Craven in former days. In 
some places not only the woman who " bore unhusbanded a mother's 
name" performed penance, but her partner in guilt also. The form 
observed was severe. Upon a fixed Sunday morning the woman walked 
down the aisle of the church, covered all over, except the head, with a 
white sheet, and stood before the chancel in full view of the worshippers. 
Here she had to repeat a confession of guilt after the manner following : 
— " Whereas, I, good people, forgetting my duty to Almighty God, have 

committed the detestable sin of incest with , and thereby have 

justly provoked the heavy wrath of God against me, to the great danger 
of my soul and the evil example of others, I do earnestly repent, and am 
heartily sorry for the same, desiring Almighty God, for the merits of 
Jesus Christ, to forgive me both in this and all other my offences, and 
also ever hereafter so to assist me with His Holy Spirit, that I never fall 
into the like offence again -, and for that end and purpose, I desire you 
all here present to pray for me, saying. Our Fcdher, which art in heaven," 
&c. That this custom was as common at Skipton as elsewhere, and that 
it was also a legal punishment, is proved by the following record, which 
I have come across in the transcriptions of West Riding Sessions Records 
contained in the Eshton Hall MSS. At the Sessions held at Skipton on 
the 10th of July, 1590, the justices ordered one John Ambler, of Silsden, 
to " doe pennance." Their decision is in Latin ; it directs that Ambler 
and his partner in guilt, ' Margareta Lokesby,' of the same place, should 
"on Sunday, the twenty-seventh day of July, repair to their parish 
church, namely the chiuxh of Kildwick," and the man should there in 
the presence of the people *' submisse et obcdienter" repeat the following 
words : — 

" I, John Ambler, here before you all good audience doe declare and confesse that I 
haue had a bastard begotten and borne on the bodye of this woman, Margaret 


Lokesby, for which I am greiued in conscience and most hartilye sorye for the same. 
And therf orfe I beseech you all with me to praye to the Almightye God by Christ 
Jesu to forgiue me this heynous sinne and neuer to laye the same to my Chardge here- 
after, and say the prayer which Jesu Christ hath taught, vizt., Our Father w'ch art 
in heauen," &c. 

Among baptismal entries in the Skipton parish register occurs 
the following : — 

"[August 14, 1712.— Elizabeth, daughter of William Dring, and Rachael Goodgion, 
of Skipton. He, parish clerk, marry'd and perform'd psenance at the auterer." 

Dring, I find, had been the parish clerk some time before. Dr. Dixon 
relates a case of performing penance. " I cannot give the date," he says, 
" but it must have been at the commencement of the present centviry. 
A poor female, one Elizabeth Ripley, of Skirethorns, in the parish of 
Linton, in Craven, did penance in the parish church of Linton, and was 
■wrapped in a white sheet ; she had a lighted candle in one hand. I 
have often heard the old woman relate the penance, and of what it con- 
sisted. Her offence was having an illegitimate child. Betty Ripley was 
a harmless maniac during her latter days. She fancied that she was 
sister to William IV., and so she called herself 'Queen' — a title by 
■which she -was well known in Upper Wharfedale." The disgrace 
attaching to persons who had thus publicly confessed guilt was so great 
that oftentimes they would leave the neighbourhood. 

Until 1770 a Pillory stood in Skipton market-place. Very probably 
its position was near the Cross. The first documentary reference I have 
found to it is of date 1743. At that time the pillory as an instrument 
of punishment was fast being supplanted by other and more seemly 
agencies. In 1756 the township accounts show a payment on account of 
the pillory : — 

July 12. — For pillory and stocks renewing, 9s. Gd. 
In 1768 the sum of £1 16s. was paid to one John Brown for a new 
pillory, but two years later he was paid for taking it down : — 

1770.— Nov. 13.— Paid John Brown for repairing Hebble Bridge and taking down 
pillory, 5s. 

This may, I think, be taken as the time at which the pillory was finally 
disused at Skipton. 

The Stocks continued in use until more than half-a-century later. 
They stood by the side of the Cross, opposite what is now the Craven 
Bank. References to the stocks are very numerous in the old township 
account-books of Skipton : — 

April 16, 1733.— For taking up a man and setting in ye stocks, 2s. 


March 27, 1739. — For mending stocks — wood and iron work, 3s. Gd. 
July 12, 1756. — For pillory and stocks renewing, 9s. Gd. 
March 25, 1776. — Paid John Lambert for repairing the stocks, 5s. Gd. 
March 25, 1776. — Paid Christ. Brown for repairing the stocks, 4s. Gd. 

During their later years, the stocks were used almost solely on Sundays. 
At a certain stage in the morning service at church, the churchwardens 
for the town and country parishes withdrew, and headed by the old 
beadle walked through the streets of the town. If a person was found 
drunk in the streets, or even drinking in one of the inns, he was promptly 
escorted to the stocks and impounded for the remainder of the morning. 
An imposing personage was the beadle. He wore a cocked hat, trimmed, 
as was his official coat, with gold, and he carried about with him in 
majestic style a trident-headed staff. " A terror to evil-doers " he 
certainly was — at any rate to those of tender years. An old native of 
Skipton writes in the Craven Pioneer for December 12th, 1874 : — "About 
two feet from the Cross were placed the stocks. They were used for the 
punishment of persons found drunk in the streets on Sunday. Two 
round stone posts, about 15 inches in diameter, were set firmly in the 
ground. On the sides of the posts opposite each other were perpendi- 
cular grooves. Two pieces of plank, reaching from one post to the other, 
fitted the grooves, the lower one stationary, but the upper one loose, so 
that it might be raised up and let down upon the lower. At proper 
distances were holes through which, by raising the upper plank, a man 
could put his legs, and when let down the two were fastened by a 
padlock. The offender sat on the lower step of the cross. This punish- 
ment was generally put in force at church time." The stocks were taken 
down about 1838 or 1840. 

Before this account of our old modes of punishments is concluded, 
reference should be made to that example of lynch-law — not unpractised 
even now in some places — known as Stang Riding. The custom of 
' riding the stang ' was once very common in Skipton among the lower 
classes. There were two principal occasions for the observance — wife- 
beating and husband-beating : the former, it need hardly be said, was the 
more common. If it became known that a man had been ill-using his 
wife, the latter's friends and sympathisers — for the most part of the 
opposite sex to herself — assembled in the evening, and carrying with 
them a * stang ' or pole, upon which one of their number sat astride, and 
an effigy of the offending husband, they perambulated some of the streets 
of the town making ' night hideous' with their shouts and songs. This 
was the doggerel sung at Skipton : — 

" Tam-a-ran, tam-a-ran, tan, tan, 
It's not for my part nor thy part that I ride the stang ; 



But it's for , his wife he did bang. 

He bang'd her, he bang'd her, he bang'd her indeed, 
He bang'd the poor woman when she little stood need. 
He neither took time to get stick, stake, nor stour, 
But he up with his clogs and knock'd her ower." 

The following illustration of riding the stang is from Punishments in 
the Olden Time, written by Mr. W. Andrew, F.H.S., of Hull : — 


At last the party halted before the house of the offending husband, and 
here they vented their indignation by yelling and groaning, after which 
they burnt his effigy before the door. Happily it is many years since 
this custom was observed in Skiptou. It is one of those usages the 
discontinuance of which no sensible person can regret. 



I ROM this review of the churches of Skipton the parish 
church is cxchided, as it has ah'eady formed the subject 
of a separate chapter. The several denominations are 
dealt with in order of seniority ; but each account has of 

necessity been written briefly, and attention has been directed to early 

rather than modern history. 


To the Quakers must be given the first place amongst the ' Dissenting ' 
bodies of Skipton, but unfortunately their early history is little more 
than a record of persecution and suffering. Perhaps nowhere did the 
Quakers experience greater intolerance than in this district. The first 
important reference to Skipton Quakerism to be met with sets before 
us a sad picture of brutality, and the whole subsequent history is 
darkened with records of the same character. 

In 1658 George Fox, the founder of the sect, visited Skipton, for the 
purpose of attending what now-a-days would be termed an ' ecumenical 
conference.' He says : — " From Warmsworth I passed in the Lord's 
power to Barton Abbey, where I had a great meeting, and from thence 
to Thomas Taylor's, and so to Skipton, where there was a general 
meeting of Men-Friends out of many counties concerning the affairs 
of the church. There was a Friend went naked through the town 
declaring the truth, and he was much beaten. Some other Friends also 
came to me all bloody. And as I walked in the street there was a 
desperate fellow had the intent to have done me a mischief, but he was 


prevented, and our meeting was quiet. To this meeting came many 
Friends out of most parts of this nation, for it was about business 
relating to the church both of this nation and beyond the seas. Several 
years before, when it was in the north, I was moved to recommend to 
Friends the setting up of this meeting, for that many Friends have 
suffered in divers parts of the nation and their goods were taken from 
them contrary to the law, who have understood not how to help them- 
selves or where to seek redress. But after this meeting was set up several 
Friends that had been justices and magistrates, and others that under- 
stood something of the law, came thither and were able to inform 
Friends and to assist them in gathering up the sufferings, that they 
might be laid before the justices, judges, or Parliament. Now this 
meeting had stood several years and divers judges and captains had come 
to break it up ; but when they have understood the business Friends met 
about, and have seen Friends' books and accompts of collections for relief 
of the poor, how we take care one county to help another, and to help 
our Friends beyond the seas and provide for our poor, that none of them 
should be chargeable to their parishes, &c., the justices and officers 
would confess that we did their work, and would pass away peaceably 
and lovingly, commending Friends' practices. And sometimes there 
would come 200 of the world's poor people and wait there till the 
meeting was done (for all the country knew we met about the poor), 
and then after the meeting was over Friends would send to the baker's 
for bread and give every one of these poor people a loaf, how many 
soever there were of them." From Skipton Fox journeyed to Lancaster, 
when he was imprisoned. This meeting is referred to in the journals 
of several Quakers of later time. George Richardson, in an account of 
a journey made in 1813, says of Skipton : — " It is said that the first 
meeting for discipline in our society was held at this place. Here," he 
continues, " I had a season of precious liberty in the flowing of light 
and love, exciting in my heart tender, contrite feelings, and grateful 
acknowledgments to the Father of all our mercies." 

Even before the date of Fox's visit to Skipton, 1658, there were 
Quakers at Skipton. It is very probable that they worshipped in the 
meeting-house at Scale House, Rilstone, which had been in existence 
some time. Among the early Skipton sufferers were Thomas and 
Christopher Tayler. The former was born in 1616. He was educated 
at Oxford University, and became a clergyman of the Church of 
England, but he did not long continue such. " In 1652, when George 
Fox came into Lancashire, he and some other priests went to 


Swarthmore, and discoursed with him, and Thomas Tayler was convinced, 
but the rest opposed. Thomas went with George Fox to a meeting next 
day, where truth springing up within him he declared it to the people, 
and so left his parish steeplehouse and preaching for hire, though he 
had been a noted priest." He was imprisoned at Appleby in 1657 and 
continued in confinement for two years. In 1661 he was imprisoned at 
York for preaching, and later at Stafford. Tayler devoted his time to 
travelling the country, preaching and often undergoing very ignoble 
punishment, until 1681, when he died, January 18th. He was the 
author of several religious treatises, and of works of a larger scope, all 
of which were secretly printed. Christopher Tayler, brother of the 
above Thomas, is said to have been " bred a scholar and a minister, 
being a preacher among the better sort of those days, as his brother was, 
until they both received the truth, and then witnessed the true call to 
the ministry, and were ministers indeed, not by the will of men, but by 
the will of God." Christopher, like his brother, was a convert of Fox. 
He began to travel about the country in the year 1652. Before two 
years had passed, he was thrown into prison at Appleby. His persecutor 
was one Thomas Burton, a justice, who had heard him attempt to argue 
with a clergyman in the churchyard. Shortly after his release from 
prison Tayler published a tract entitled " The Whirlwind of the Lord 
gone forth as a fiery flying Roll, with an Alarm sounded against the 
Inhabitants of the North Country, being a Forewarning to all the Rulers 
in England of the mighty and terrible Day of the Lord that shall over- 
take the Wicked, but especially to the Persecuting Rulers, Priests, and 
People in the County of Westmorland." He was author of several 
other pamphlets. He died in 1686, in Pennsylvania, whither he went 
in 1683. 

Other Skipton sufferers of the seventeenth century may be named : — 

" 1654, — William Simpson, who in many places was concerned in a prophetick 
manner to pass naked through the streets, was at Skipton beaten down, and stampt 
upon, and cut with a butcher's knife about the head, face, and hands." 

Skipton seems to have been a particularly unsafe place for Quakers. 
In 1654 a Miles Halhead, advising people to repentance in Skipton 
market-place, was " run upon by several wicked persons, one of whom 
with a pikestaff wounded him so that he was bloody. Another ran at 
him with a naked knife, swearing he would have his blood, and Thomas 
Oddy endeavouring to prevent mischief was cut in the hand." In 1654 
the William Simpson named above for speaking to the priest at 
Blackburn, when he had ended his preaching, was set on by the people, 


who beat him and abused him in an abominable manner. Yet nothing 
could surpass the meekness of some of the Friends. In a neighboimng 
parish one Thomas Aldam in 1655 was assailed by one of the church- 
wardens, who smote him with his fist on the cheek. Without a word 
Aldam turned his other cheek to the smiter. This so enraged the 
churchwarden " that had not some more moderate restrained him 'twas 
thought he would have beaten him much more." 

"1655. — James Tennant, of Skipton, was imprisoned in York Castle forty-five 
weeks for refusing to pay tithes." 

" 1656. — James Tennant, Jeffery Wildman, and Oliver Kettering, of Skipton, were 
fined for refusing to take an oath." 

" 1658. — The same James Tennant was imprisoned five weeks for the same cause." 

" 1660. — In this year Isabel Wood, of Skipton, was distrained for refusing to pay 
tithes to the amount of 2s., and a horse worth £2 6s. 8d. was taken. Edward 
Wilker fosse, also of Skipton, refusing to pay tithes to the amount of 13s., a horse 
worth £3 was taken." 

" 1664. — Edward Wilkerfosse, of Skipton, was committed to prison for non-payment 
of tithes. William Simpson, of Skipton, also had his goods distrained. 

" 1671. — John Stott, of Skipton, was prosecuted by Thomas Sutton, a priest there, 
for claims made by him under pretence of receiving bread and wine, marrying him, 
sprinkling his children, and churching his wife, though the priest had done none of 
these things either for him or his wife. However, for those demands he had taken 
from him by a bayliff goods worth £1 16s. 8d." 

Two entries occur in the Skipton parish register in reference to this 
Quaker family. Among the burial entries is the following : — 

" 1662 — Jan. 3. — Thomas Stott, of Eastby, whose bodie ye Quakers would have 
carry ed to their buring place at Rillstone, but his neighbores p' vented it." 

Among the baptismal entries is another : — 

" 1666 — Feb. 5. — Jonathan, the son of John Stott, of Skipton, Quaker, christened 
by I knowe not who, and buried as they pleased at Bradley, in Kildwick 

The tone of this language is by no means tolerant. 

" 1682. — At the Quarter Sessions at Skipton on the 11th May, 1682, James Carr, 
Thomas Waite, Thomas Wilson, and Christopher Johnson, (Clapham), were indicted 
for absence from their parish church, and being imwilling to enter into a recogniz- 
ance to traverse the indictment they were committed to York Castle, and there 
continued from Sessions to Sessions until February the next year." 

In November, 1682, a number of Skipton Quakers were fined at the 

Skipton Sessions for holding an unlegalised meeting : — 

£ s. d. 
Abbigaill Stott, Wid., for suffering the sd conventicle wittingly 
to be held in her house £20, but adjudged not able, warrant 
sent out to levye vpon her goods and chattells only £10, pt 
thereof 10 00 00 


£ s. cl. 
Abbigall Stott, her daughter, for being p'sent and a hearer 00 05 00 

Braidleif. — Edward Wadkinson and Jane his wife, hearers 00 10 00 

Jtm.— A fHne of 101b. pt of Abbigall Stott fine of £20 10 00 00 

Skipton.— John Hall, Taylor, Speaker for Teacheing there, fined 

201b., but he adjudged not able 09 00 00 

Jtm.— Elizabeth his wife, a hearer 00 05 00 

I^mpsft^.— Richard Thompson, Labr,, & Anne his wife, hearers... 00 10 00 
Jtm. —Fine £5 upon Richard, pt of John Hall fine 05 00 00 

CoM'^ctortp'tsA.— Peter Barrett, labr., hearer 00 05 00 

Fined part of John Hall fine 02 10 00 

John Smith and his wife, hearers 00 10 00 

Fined part of John Hall fine 02 10 00 

Skipton. — John Cowper, Labr. , and Alice his wife, hearers 00 10 00 

Jtm.— Fined pt of John Hall fine 01 00 00 

Thomas Smith & Anne his wife, labor, hearers 00 10 00 

ffrancis Dune, laborer, hearer 00 05 00 

Jane Bowcocke, wid., hearer 00 05 00 

Joshua Bo wcocke, labr. J hearer 00 05 00 

Sum of Ulb. 00s. OOd. 

"1683. — At the Quarter Sessions at Skipton, William Anderson, of Malham (May) 
was indicted for absence from church, and he was fined. There were taken from him 
a mare, hay, a cart, malt, and household goods to the value of £20, but these were all 
sold by the bailiff for £5 12s. John Barber, of Leathley, was committed by order of 
the justices at Skipton sessions to York Castle for being at a meeting at Weston, and 
remained imprisoned 4 months. It was, however, alleged that the prisoner had ever 
been at a meeting for 8 years." 

Other instances of persecution might be given. On one occasion a 
Friend passing through Skipton was seized and lodged in the tolbooth 
because of his religious opinions. Under the Toleration Act, the John 
Hall and Abigail Stott mentioned above obtained licences in October, 
1G89, to hold meetings at their houses. Licences were also obtained for 
houses at Addingham, Settle, Bentham, Stainforth, Clapham, Mitton, 
Slaidburn, Thornton, Carleton, Salterforth, Marton, Broughton, Earby, 
Gargrave, Bell-busk, Cracoe, Rilstone, Hetton, Airton, ArnclifFe, Dent, 
Sedbergh, ' Dearstones in Skipton,' and ' Brownhill in Skipton,' the same 
year. Barns at Kildwick and Barnoldswick were likewise registered as 
meeting-houses. At Skipton Sessions in July, 1G93, the "houses of 
John Hall and John Cooper, adjoining to the Green in the New Markett, 
Skipton," were declared to be " fitt and convenient places for public 

In 1G93 the present meeting-house was erected. It is a plain, low 
building, divided now by a wooden partition into a chapel and a class- 
room. The length of the whole building is not more than 30 feet, nor 


the width more than 16 or 17 feet. The date of erection is carved upon 
a stone above the door : — 


The chapel is approached by a narrow alley from Newmarket-street, but 
formerly it was reached from Caroline-square, by Quaker's-place ; the 
raised pavement which stood by the side of the stream there has been 
removed. There is a small library of Friends' literature in the chapel. 
It was formed by subscription in 1813. 

In the journal of Thomas Story, of Kendal, occur several references 
to the Quaker interest at Skipton. On the 2nd October, 1723, Story 
visited Skipton and '' had a small open meeting at David Hall's, where I 
lodged ; and next day went to a ministring Friends' Meeting at Settle ; 
and the day following was at another, being a monthly meeting, at the 
same place ; and lodged at William Burbeck's." Another visit was paid 
to Skipton in 1736. " On the 31st June," he says, " I went to Skipton, 
to David Hall's, and next day about eleven in the forenoon had a meet- 
ing there, consisting for the greatest part of strangers. It was large and 
peaceable, and the saving truths of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ were freely and plainly opened ; with which several were 
affected, some tendered, and generally solid, through the weight of Truth 
then over the Auditory." The David Hall referred to above was a very 
prominent Friend. He was the chief support of the Skipton society 
during the first half of last century. He was born 22nd October, 1683. 
His father began a school in 1700, and this David continued for fifty 
years after his parent's death. Young David Hall is said to have been a 
model student. About the fifteenth year of his age his father " put him 
to the Free School at Skipton (there being at that time no School of 
Friends that taught the languages in our parts), wherein by his industry 
and diligence in a short time he attained a competent knowledge. He 
was a good example to his school-fellows, adorning his profession by a 
grave and exemplary conversation, and was in great esteem with his 
master." David Hall began to preach in 1711, "and after some time 
he had a concern to go into the streets at Skipton and Keighley on the 
market-day, to warn people to repentance and amendment of life." He 
also visited Scotland and Ireland. He died September 16th, 1756, in 
the seventy-third year of his age and the forty-sixth of his ministry as a 


Friend. His journal and a number of his religious writings were 
published after his death. A grandson of David Hall was vicar of 
Eccleshill. In the "Memoirs of the Life of James Gough" (1763) who 
was a teacher in Hall's school, many interesting references are made to 
this good man. Gough was a native of Kendal, and was born in 
the year 1712. In 1727, he writes, "being an-ived at my fifteenth 
year, my mother was anxious to have me put to some business. 
Through her persuasion my father in the course of his travels spol?e 
to David Hall (for whom my mother had an honourable esteem) 
and agreed with him to take me as an usher to his school, desiring no 
other terms for me but my board, and such instruction as he might see 
I needed, which gave my mother satisfaction. She accompanied me to 
his house at Skipton in Yorkshire. And here I experienced the advan- 
tage of the education she had given me, for thereby I was prepared to 
submit more willingly to continual employ and hardship. And although 
many of the boys coming from full houses and plentiful tables thought 
their fare here mean (as indeed the price for both boarding and tuition 
was only eight pounds per annum) yet to me it was in general otherwise. 

When I had stayed in my service at Skipton a little 

more than a year, my master gave me leave to return to Kendal to 
see my relations (1728). He made me the bearer also of a letter to 
my father, wherein he signified that considering my years he approved 
of my qualifications and conduct, and offered wages for my future 

Another worthy Skipton Friend, a contemporary of Hall, was Thomas 
Gawthorp, who was born in this town in 1709. To escape the ill- 
treatment he received as an apprentice he enlisted in the army, but, we 
are told, " attending a meeting at Skipton, his mind was so affected by 
the powerful ministry of Mary Slater," that he resolved to abandon 
military life, and devote himself to preaching. He obtained his dis- 
charge, and settling in Kendal served the ministiy for 47 years, dying 
in 1780, at the age of 71 years. 

It is well known that a Quakers' meeting-house existed at Scale House, 
near Skipton, and another at Broughton. Mention is made of the 
former as early as 1658, for on the 11th of November in that year a 
Lancashire Friend named Thomas Salthouse wrote an epistle to 
Friends in the West of England from Scale House. 

Quakerism is now nearly extinct in Skipton. After the death of Mr. 
Hodgson, who was Castle Steward, the interest began to wane, and when 
the Smith and Binns families died out or removed from the locality few 


were left to carry on the cause. Meetings are now very seldom held in 
the old chapel. 


Skipton was evidently visited by the earliest pioneers of Methodism, 
and, as appears from a passage in the diary of John Wesley, their 
reception was not of the best. Under date Tuesday, June 26th, 1764, 
Wesley writes : — 

" I preached abroad at five, and I believe not in vain. Between nine and ten we 
reached Black Burton, where there was a general awakening till the jars between Mr. 
Ingham and Allan laid the people asleep again. However, some are united again in a 
quiet loving society, zealous of good works. I preached about eleven. Thence we 
rode to Longpreston, being still fanned by the wind, and (unless a few minutes now 
and then) shaded by the clouds. The congregation was exceedingly serious. Hence 1 
rode to Skipton, lohere some time since no Methodist preacher could appear. I preached 
in the evening near the bridge, without the least interruption. Nor did I find any 
weariness, after preaching four times and riding 50 miles." 

Obviously there was still at Skipton a remnant of that misguided zeal 
which persecuted even to death the first settlement of Quakers in 
this town. Wesley tells us that he preached "near the bridge," 
by which he meant Mill-bridge. The evangelist visited Skipton again 
in 1766:— 

" Friday, 25 July, 1766.— We rode to Skipton in Craven. I designed to preach in 
the market-place, but the rain prevented. So I stood near Mr. Garforth's house, 
where many were under shelter, but many remained without, seeming not to think 
whether it rained or not. Will all these be barren and unfruitful ? " 

The Mr. Garforth mentioned above was a miller, and lived at the foot 
of Chapel-hill. He frequently entertained the Wesleyan preachers in 
subsequent years. Skipton was first entered on the circuit books in 
1764, the year of Wesley's first visit. This district was then included 
in what was known as the " Haworth Round." But although a proper 
organisation was first founded at Skipton in 1764, Wesleyanism had 
already supporters here. The circuit books show that quarterly 
payments were sent a year or two before. Thus : — 

£ s. d. 

1763— January — Wiggles worth and Skipton 12 3 

„ — April — Longpreston and Skipton 10 6 

„ — July — Wigglesworth and Skipton 11 6 

„ —July— Skipton 14 6 

The appended names of the first Wesleyans of Skipton will be of 


interest. The letters " M " and " S " denote whether the person was 
married or single. 

Peter Garforth, M Miller Skipton. 

Mary Garforth, M ,, 

James Cragg, M Bookkeeper „ 

Grace Cragg, M ,, 

Richard Heath, M Papermaker ,, 

Alice Heath, M „ 

Thomas Mitchell, M Tailor „ 

Elizabeth Mitchell, S Spinner ,, 

Judy Clark, M „ 

John Whitehead S Staymaker ,, 

Mary Howgill, M „ 

John Beanland, M Tallow chandler „ 

Mr. Peter Garforth, the same who entertained Wesley in 1766, died in 
1811, at the age of 78 years, and was buried in Skipton parish church, 
near the font. 

It seems an vmaccountable fixct that the interest established in 
Skipton in connection with Wesleyanism in 1764 died out five years 
later. In 17G9 Skipton disappears from the circuit books. Eighteen 
years later, however — in 1787 — a new society was formed. During all 
this interval Mr, Garforth continued his connection with the parent 
body, for his name regularly appears in the books as a subscriber of half- 
a-guinea a quarter. He does not appear, however, to have been a 
member of the new society, for his name is never found in any return of 
members. That he remained a supporter of Methodism is evidenced by 
the fact that he subscribed to its funds until his death. In the first 
missionary report published for this circuit, 1811, he stands as an 
annual subscriber of £4: 4s. Od. 

Wesley paid at least one other visit to Skipton — probably two. 
From, his Journal cmd Letters we find he writes in 1775 to the Kev. 
Samuel Bardsley, who then laboured in the " Haworth Round," as 
follows : — " Dear Sammy, — I am glad you got to Skipton, and hope to 
see it myself if I live till summer," &c. It is not known whether 
Wesley paid this intended visit, but in May, 1782, he came to 
Skipton : — 

"May, 1782, — I preached at Skipton-in-Craven, at Grassington, and at Pately 

The society established in 1787 belonged to the Keighley circuit, with 
which it continued to bo connected until 1801. The first members 



were : — John Mawson, Sarah Mawson, Obed Scholfield, Marj^ Hird, Mary 
Higliton, Mary Swire, Mary Wood, Anthony Armstrong, John Upton, 
Francis Watson, and Thomas Hird. Of the leader of this band, John 
Mawson, an obituary notice appears in the Methodist Magazine for 182S, 
in which year, at the age of 83 years, he died. Francis Watson was a 
very earnest worker on behalf of the cause of Methodism. In the 
J/f/r/rtjme for 1822, he is described as having been "a man of strong 
faith in God — of great love for souls — of long-suifering patience under 
keen and complicated afflictions, and of rigid honesty.'' Many other 
supporters of Wesleyanism in Skipton in former years might be 
mentioned. Miss Baynes was one of these. She was a lady of great 
wealth, and by her generosity gave a great impulse to the society's 
progress. Other early supporters of the cause in Skipton were : — 
Elizabeth Preston, Robinson Lockwood, Jeffrey Hayes, William Windle, 
James Elsworth, William Fowell, William Robinson, Charles Galloway, 
James Galloway, William Green, Joshua Lockwood, John Farraday, 
Robert Farraday, James Spencer, John Aitken, John Thornton, Joseph 
Whittam, Joseph Holdsworth, Abraham Calvert, Caleb Wilkinson, 
Samuel Whittingham, John Wilson, William Wilson, John Tillotson, 
Dodsworth Nixon, J. Wilks, William Laycock, John Tasker (died 
18G4), James Bracewell, and Robert Crump. 

In the early days of Methodism in Skipton, the friends met in each 
other's houses. Mr. Garforth's mill and a room in Coach-street adjoining 
the canal warehouse were also places of meeting. Later on, a room at 
the Devonshii-e Hotel was used for service. These were the days of 
" small things." But as the interest progressed, and the society became 
more and more numerous, steps were taken for obtaining a chapel. In 
1791 one was opened at the expense, it is said, of Mr. Peter Garforth, 
It was not an imposing structure ; but small and humble as it was it 
sufficiently met all requirements for a considerable time. The site of 
the first chapel was that upon which the day school (or old chapel) 
stands. This building was in use for twenty years, but in 1811 its 
capacity did not meet the increasing attendance of worshippers, and it 
was then greatly enlarged, if not, indeed, entirely rebuilt. A lease of the 
ground for 40 years was obtained, the following being the trustees : — 
Caleb Wilkinson, butcher ; Francis Wade, butcher ; John Mawson, 
bookkeeper ; William Windle, grocer ; John Aitken, tanner ; William 
Green, shoemaker ; John Tillotson, cotton manufacturer ; Brown Lee, 
cotton manufacturer ; Thomas Lister, tallow chandler ; Nathan Pickles, 
grocer, Colne. During the time occupied in enlarging the chapel, the 


use of the banqueting-hall of the castle was granted for the purpose of 
divine worship. The ministers who preached on the occasion of the 
opening of the chapel were the Rev. Jabez Bunting and the Rev. Miles 

The society increased in numbers until in 1861 the local circuit 
comprised chapels at Skipton and twelve villages in the neigh- 
bourhood. The adherents still multiplied, especially in Skipton, 
where the church accommodation became again too small. In 
1861, therefore, we find that a circular was issued by the 
Skipton Wesleyans stating that a new chapel was a necessity, " both to 
meet many applications for sittings which they are now compelled to 
decline, and to supply a greater number of free sittings for the use of 
the poor." Instead of building a chapel at Wesley-place, as was at first 
intended, the Water-street site was chosen, but it was not until February 
9th, 1864, that the foundation stone was laid. The ceremony was 
witnessed by a large concourse of people. The dedicatory prayer was 
offered by the former Congregational minister, the Rev. R. Gibbs, and in 
the absence of Mr. H. Atkinson, of Malham, the foundation stone was 
laid by Mr. John Tasker; and the Rev. J. P. Lockwood, of Bramley, after- 
wards delivered an address. At the close of the ceremony public service 
was held in the chapel, conducted by the Rev. R. Roberts. In the 
evening a public meeting was held. The superintendent minister, the 
Rev. J. Walker, presided, and was accompanied by the Revs. G. Smith, 
R. Gibbs, S. Crump, and E. Crump. On Friday, September 22nd, 1865, 
the chapel was opened with successful services, in which the Rev. J. 
Hannah, D.D,, Theological Tutor of the Didsbury Training College, the 
Rev. Jno. Walker, Rev. R. Gibbs, Rev. G. Dickenson (Preston), Rev. J. P. 
Lockwood (Shipley), and the Rev. W. Parkinson (Yeadon) took part. 
A week prior to this, Mr, Henry Atkinson, of Malham, who had 
given £1,000 to the building fund, died. The chapel cost nearly £4,000. 
In 1867 an organ was added. In 1875 a Sunday-school Union was 
inaugurated in connection with the Skipton cii'cuit. The Skipton chapel 
was restored at considerable expense in 1878, Among the chief sup- 
porters of later years Mr, Benson Bailey* (who died 1872), Mr, John 
Tasker, and Mr, Robert Crump may be named without any appearance 
of iuvidiousness. Three sons of Mr, Crump have entered the ministry. 
Three sons also of Mr. James Tasker (son of the late Mr. John Tasker) 
have become ministers — two in the Wcsleyau, and one in the Episcopal 

* lie was the author of several little works; among them " Pearls of Craven," a guide-book 
to.the district. 



church. The following is a list of the Wesleyan ministers of the 
Skipton circuit : — 

1801— Richard Hardaker, William 

1802.— Richard Hardaker, William Rad- 

1803.— Matthew Lumb, WUliam Midgley 
1804.— Matthew Lumb, Abraham Haigh 

I805.-George Holder i John Whitham 
° ( Jonathan Ashn 

.180G.-George Holder { 'j^^Ze^^^e 

1807.-JamesRiddellH°i^" ^?f^V™ 

( d ohn Wheelhouse 

1808. — Arthur Hutchinson, John Fair- 
1809.— Arthur Hutchinson, William Rad- 

1810. — William Radcliffe, Lawrence Har- 

1811. — Thomas Fletcher, Robert Emmott 
1812.— William Todd, John White 
1813.— William Todd, Isaac Clayton 
1814. — Matthew Lumb, Isaac Clayton 
1815. — Matthew Lumb, Thomas Barritt 
1816. — Samuel Gates, Thomas Barritt 
1817. — John Fairburn, Joseph Mattison 
1818. — John Fairburn, Edward Gibbons 
1819.— Isaac Muff, Thomas Arnett 
1820.— Isaac Muff, William Ball 
1821.— John Thompson, William Ball 
1822. — John Thompson, Seth Morris 
1823.— WUliam Renison, Seth Morris 
1824. — William Renison, John Walton 
1825.— John Walton, William Waterhouse 
1826. — John Poole, William Waterhouse 
1827. — John Poole, John Langston 
1828.— William Schofield, Humphrey Ste- 
1829.— William Schofield, Humphrey Ste- 
1830.— John Gill, Wilson Brailsford 
1831.— John Gill, WUson Brailsford 
1832. — William Coultas, James Bumstead 
1833. — William Coultas, James Bumstead 
1834.— Richard Pattison, Thomas Kemp- 
1835.— William -Arnett, Thomas Kemp- 
1836. — William Arnett, John Pearse 
1837. — Abraham Crabtree, Thomas Ec- 

1838.— Abraham Crabtree, Thomas Ec- 

1839. — Abraham Crabtree, Thomas Ec- 

1840. — John Bumstead, Francis Barker 
1841. — Robert Harrison, Francis Barker 
1842. — Robert Harrison, Thomas Savage 
1843.^ — Robert Harrison, Thomas Savage 
1844. — Robert Gover, Thomas Richardson 
1845. — Robert Gover, Thomas Richardson 
1846. — Robert Gover, Thomas Richardson 
1847.— Thomas Ballingall, Richard Patch 
1848.— Thomas Ballingall, Richard Fetch 
1849.— William Levell, Richard Fetch 
1850. — William Levell, Joseph Garrett 
1851. — William Levell, Joseph Garrett 
1852.— J. F. England, James Faulkner 
1853.— J. F. England, James Faulkner 
1854. — Benjamin Pearce, Samuel Brocksop 
1855.— John Wevill, WUliam Lindley 
1856.— Thomas M. Fitzgerald, Thomas M. 

1857.— Thomas M. Fitzgerald, Thomas M. 

1858.— Thomas M. Rodham, Alfred F. 

1859.— William Ricketts, Alfred F. 

I860.— Joseph Kipling, Alfred F. Abbott 
1861. — Joseph Kipling, James Wright 
1862. — W. Parkinson, James Wright 
1863. — John Walker, George Smith 
1864. — John Walker, George Smith 
1865.— John Walker, John Ward 
1866. — Rd. Hornabrook, John Ward 
1867.— John Ward, John F. Raw 
1868. — Henry Badger, John F. Raw 
1869.— -Henry Badger, John F. Raw 
1870.— John W. Thomas, Ed. F. Hard- 
1871.— John Walters, Ed. F. Hardwick 
1872.— John Walters, Ed. F, Hardwick 
1873,— Edward Horton, Isaac PoUitt 
1874.— Edward Horton, Isaac PoUitt 
1875.— Edward Horton, Isaac PoUitt 
1876. — Amos White, John Waterhouse 
1877. — Amos White, John Waterhouse 
1878. — Amos White, John Waterhouse 
1879. — John Osborn, Wm. Greenwood 
1880. — John Osborn, Wm. Greenwood 
1881. — John Osborn, Wm. Greenwood 
1882. — Alfred Levell, Jeremiah Sansom 


The Skipton circuit has supplied a number of ministers for the 
itinerant work. From the honourable roll may be named — The Rev, 
James Sugden, ordained 1809, died 1844; the Rev. J. Wilson, 1814, 
died 1871 ; Rev. J. P. Lockwood, 1836 ; Rev. J. P. Fairbourn, 1837, 
died 1877; Rev. Thomas M'Cullagh, 1845; Rev. Simpson Crump, 
1857; Rev. Edward Crump, 1858; Rev. A. Levell, 1858; Rev. John 
Crump, 1867 ; Rev. J. G. Tasker, 1875 ; and Rev. W. L. Tasker. In 
addition to the chapel in Water-street, Skipton, there are now chapels at 
Airton, Bradley, Bell-busk, Carleton, Cracoe, Embsay, Eastby, Gargrave, 
Hetton, Malham, and Long Preston. 


It is very probable that the ministrations of the Rev. Oliver Heywood 
were mainly instrumental in the introduction of Dissent to Skipton. It 
is said that Heywood's first or second attempt at preaching was made at 
Skipton. This was about 1650. The evangelist continued to preach 
frequently in Craven until death in 1702 ended his labours. A relapse 
then set in, and we find the religious condition of the town to have been 
in the middle of last century woful in the extreme. The Methodists 
tried to found a mission here, and although they met at first with fierce 
opposition, they succeeded in some degree. But, as we have seen, only 
temporarily, for after an existence of some five years the cause drooped, 
and the adherents nearly all fell ofi". In 1774, indeed, the only places 
of worship in Skipton were the parish church and the Friends' meeting- 
house. Religion was at a terrible discount. Football was the common 
Sunday evening engagement of the youths of the to/yn, and it has been 
put on record by actual witnesses that the clergyman of the parish used 
to join in the game. It is now that we hear first of the Independents. 
In 1774 a small room — the Court House of that day, which stood on the 
site of the Devonshire Hotel, in Newmarket-street, — was engaged by 
James Harrison and a few others, and here worship was conducted 
Sabbath by Sabbath. Prior to this Mr. Harrison had held services in 
his own house. The first Independent minister to visit the town 
regularly was the Rev. Samuel Phillips, of Keighley, who preached in a 
gown, a circumstance which appears to have created a very favourable 
impression. " Whenever Mr. Phillips preached," says Mr.. Miall in his 
" History of Congregationalism in Yorkshire," " the Court House was 
filled with hearers. A chapel was therefore resolved upon. Mr. Phillips 
purchased (1777) a plot of gi'ound on the site of the present chapel. 


Sermons were preached by the Revs. G. Burder (Lancaster), and J. 
Cockin (Hahfax)." Very primitive was the building, for at first neither 
boards nor flags covered the floor. For several years the pulpit was 
filled by laymen and ministers from neighbouring towns, and in 1779 a 
brother of the Rev. S. Phillips, of Keighley, acted as pastor. His 
labours were of short duration : he died the same year. The Rev. Mr. 
Williams, a Welshman, was the first resident Independent minister at 
Skipton, He resided here from 1780 to 1785, when he removed. 
" At this time there was little concern respecting religion in the town. 
Trade and amusements were carried on without check on the Lord's day, 
and the minister had not unfrequently to stop in his sermon and send 
out the members of his congregation to quiet the disturbers. Some of 
these at length became persecutors, and by breaking the chapel windows 
laid themselves open to legal proceedings 3 but they were allowed to 
apologise, and quiet ensued."* 

In 1785 the Rev. Mr. Richardson became minister, but during his 
three years' work little progress was made ; on the contrary the 
congregation somewhat diminished. In 1789 the Rev. Joseph Harrison, 
of Saff"ron Walden, brother of the James Harrison who was one of the 
founders of the cause, and who now acted as deacon, accepted a call to 
the pastorate, and he threw his whole energies into his work. His 
enthusiasm indeed led to persecution, but over this " his Christian 
temper ultimately triumphed." He removed to Allerton in 1793, and 
there he died. The Rev. Mr. Handforth, from Lancashire, originally a 
soldier in the Spanish wars, became minister in 1794, and continued in 
the office until his removal in 1797. The good work he did was not 
maintained by his successor, the Rev. Mr. Sugden, under whom the 
congregation greatly decreased. Mr. Sugden removed in 1809, and the 
chapel was closed for some time. When it was re-opened the pulpit was 
supplied from Idle Academy, service being held at first fortnightly. 
Weekly meetings became again the rule, however, and in 1811 or 1813 
the Rev. Thomas Sharp, a student from Idle, accepted the pastorate. 
Little by little the disjointed fragments into which the church had fallen 
became welded together again, until at Mr. Sharp's retirement in 1833 
there were 84 members. In 1816 a Sunday-school was established in 
connection with the body, chiefly through the exertions of Mr. John 
Harrison (son of Mr. James Harrison and father of the late Mr. W. 
Harrison), Mr. John Dewhurst, and Mr. Herd Ramsden. Two of these 

* Rev. J. G. Miall's "History of Congregationalism in Yorkshire.' 


gentlemen — Mr. Harrison and Mr. Ramsden — were deacons of the 
church at the time. Before the school had been in existence three years 
an extension was found to be imperative. The sum of £38 was 
advanced without interest for the purpose of erecting a suitable building 
in place of the old one, " until the same sum could be paid off by 
collections arising from the Sunday School." The money was advanced 
in the following amounts : — Mr. Robert Leydon, £7 ; Mr. John 
Dewhurst, £5 ; Mr. W. Buck, £4 ; Mr. John Ramsden, £4 ; Mr. R. 
Johnston, £4 ; Mr. John Harrison, £5 ; Mr. Herd Ramsden, £3 ; Mr. 
Jas. Harrison, £1 ; and Mr. John Jennings, £-5 ; the agreement being- 
made 18th October, 1820. In 1833 Mr. Sharp was laid aside by illness. 
He died April 24th, 1843, aged 70 years, and was buried in the 
chapel burial-ground. 

The Rev. Richard Gibbs was called to the pastorate in 1834, and 
during his twenty-six years of faithful labour the church prospered in 
a measure which had never been experienced before. Mr. Gibbs was 
born February 3rd, 1794, at King's Langley, Hertfordshire, of parents 
professed members of the Church of England. He was educated for 
the ministry at Homerton College, and being ordained in 1821 he 
commenced pastoral duties at Newcastle-on-Tyne. Thence he removed 
to Darlington, and after some years' stay in that town he accepted a 
call from Skipton. Here he laboured with indefatigable energy, 
and encouraging success. Thrice every Sunday he preached, and once 
during the week, at Skipton, and this in addition to multifarious pubhc 
duties. For many years he acted as honorary chaplain at the 
Workhouse. In the early part of his ministry — 1838-9 — the present 
chapel in Newmarket-street was built, and it was opened on July 10th 
of the latter year, the Rev. Thos. Raffles, D.D., LL.D., of Liverpool, 
and the Rev. W. Hamilton, of Leeds, preaching on the occasion. 
Several years before his death Mr. Gibbs had a paralytic fit, and 
this illness led to his retirement in 1860. He died July 4th, 
18G7— " full of good deeds." The Rev. Thomas Windsor, of 
Lancashire Independent College, succeeded to the pastorate August 24th, 
1862, his ordination taking place the following November. In Decem- 
ber, 1866, the jubilee of the Sunday-school was celebrated. The 
Harrisons have already been named as zealous and generous sup- 
porters of Congregationalism in Skipton. The late Mr. John 
Dewhurst was in like manner a warm adherent and a very liberal helper 
of the cause. The present chapel was largely built by his liberality. 
He died in 1864. 



Until a very recent date the Skipton Primitive Methodist church was 
a branch of the Silsden circuit. The earhest reference to Skipton in 
the circuit books is August, 1823, when there were seventeen members 
of the society, whose contribution at quarter-day was £1. From this 
time until 1826 the cause appears to have fluctuated, and in May of 
that year Skipton had only four members. Under date June 18th, 
1832, the name of Skipton re-appears after several years' absence, and 
there are then seven members on trial. The quarter-day report of the 
circuit dated March 18th, 1833, says : — " Our circuit has prospered very 
much the last year, and we are happy to say it is in a very flourishing 
state at the present time. We have opened Skipton and raised a society 
of about forty members. We have also at considerable expense fitted up 
a large room at Skipton with small side galleries, forms, &c." At the 
same quarterly meeting it was unanimously resolved " to get Brother 
Carthey re-appointed for this circuit," and one of the reasons given is 
that he had missioned Skipton, "a place of great importance," and "by 
the blessing of the Most High formed a society" there. It was added that 
Brother Carthey had " begged part of the money " expended on account 
of a roorn, " and the remainder we have no doubt that he will get in the 
same way if he continues with us, as he has gained the esteem of the 
inhabitants of Skipton generally by his indefatigable exertions in the 
good cause : and we think a change under present circumstances not so 
favourable for Skipton." Very frequently did the zealous band hold 
meetings around the old Market Cross in the market-place at this time. 
Often they were interruj)ted, and sometimes subjected to hard usage, 
such was the intolerant spirit of that day. It was the old tale over 
again ; it was a repetition of the experience of Fox's followers, and of 
the early Methodist evangelists. The late Mr. Joshua Fletcher, of 
Silsden, an ardent Primitive Methodist, was once brought before the 
magistrates for his missioning in the streets. The first room in which 
the friends met for worship was one in the Hole-in-the-Wall yard, and 
it is to this that the record last quoted refers. Among the earnest 
members of the society at this time may be named the late Mr. John 
Varlcy, Mr. John Hodgson, Mr. William Willan, and Mr. T. Shuttle- 
worth. The interest continued to gain in strength, until in 1835 a new 
chapel was built. This is the building in Millfields, which in its turn 
was abandoned in June, 1880. It was opened November 12th, 1835. 
The cost was about £740. The trustees were — Messrs. T. Page, Joshua 
Fletcher, John Varley, William Willan, John Brayshaw, T. Myers, John 


Hodgson, Benjamin Thornton, John Judson, James Laycock, and John 
Long-bottom, The large stone which surmounted the doorway, and 
which records the thankfuhiess of that zealous band of worshippers to 
whose self-denying efforts the erection of the building was due, is still 
kept in the new chapel, awaiting the time when it can be given that 
position of honour to which it is entitled. It is inscribed : — 




Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. 

Naturally the building of a new chapel led to a large accession to the 
ranks of the Primitives, but discord found its way into their midst. 
The circuit book says, March 13th, 1837 : — " The deficiency has 
principally been at Skiptou, Addingham, Carleton, Bradley, Grassington, 
Cracoe, and Barden. Skipton suffered loss through a disturbance which 
took place amongst the society, and official characters in particular, 
which commenced prior to last Midsummer, and did not get settled for 
more than two months," but it is added that " all is in peace at present, 
and the work going on much better, thank God." The strength of the 
Skipton Sunday-school was at this time — 45 teachers (19 males and 26 
females), and 170 scholars (87 boys and 83 girls). In 1838, 150 
sittings were let in Skipton chapel (room for 250), the rents amounted 
to £32 14s. 9d. ; the donations to £11 2s.; and the total receipts were 
£55 Is. 9d.; the debt on the chapel being £660. The next few years 
were unprosperous. In 1844, indeed, the Sunday scholars are returned 
as only 98 in number. The following year it is rej)orted that the 
prospects of the circuit " have not been more cheering for some time, 
with the exception of Skipton, which is now improving. We have sunk 
42 members at Skipton during the year ... in consequence of the 
shameful conduct mentioned in our report, which nearly broke up the 

All this unpleasantness was in time forgotten, and the cause gathered 
round it an ever-increasing number of adherents. In 1861 the chapel 
was stated to be free from debt. All this time Skipton continued but a 
branch of the Silsdcn circuit. Indeed, it was not until 1879 that the 
Conference made Skiptou the head of an independent circuit. The Rev. 


W. J. Kirklaucl was the first circuit minister; he was stationed in 
Skipton five years, and was succeeded by the Rev. Samuel Lloyd. 
The foundation stones of the present chapel in Gargrave-road were 
laid on Saturday, March 16th, 1878. One stone was laid by Mr. 
Robert Hargreaves, on behalf of the trustees, and another on behalf of 
the Sunday-school by Mr. L. Shuttleworth. Two other friends laid 
stones. The building is of handsome appearance, and of substantial 
proportions. In length it is 68 feet 6 inches, and in width 45 feet 6 
inches ; there is accommodation for 600 persons. Towards the erection 
of this place the late Mr. R. Peacock worked very ardently. The cost 
has exceeded £4,000. 


As a denomination the Catholics of Skipton only date some forty-six 
years back, although references to Skipton Roman Catholics are to be 
obtained as early as the beginning of the seventeenth century. The 
first occur in the "List of the Recvisants and Noncommuni cants in 
Yorkshire in 1604," published in 1872 from a manuscript in the Bodleian 
Library. The return for Skipton is as follows : — 

, wief of James Phillip. 

Gartret, wief of William Wardale. 
Thomas Goodgeon — Recusants. 
Ffrancis Goodgion and his wief, 
John Morehouse, 
Jayne Wardle — Noncommunicants. 

The Thomas Goodgion mentioned above appears to have died in 1609, 
for this entry appears in the Skipton parish register : — 

" March 8.— Thomas Goodgion, a recusant and excommunicate, died the viiith day 
Mr. Wylde refused to burie him." 

Mr. Wylde was the Rev. Bartholomew Wylde, who was vicar from 1604 
to 1621. The return for Broughton is as follows : — 

Sir Stephen Tempest, knight, 

dame Katheren his wief, 

Henry Tempest, 

Georg Barty, seruant to Sir Stephen — Noncommunicants, 

Thomas Harrison, seruant to Sir Stephen — Recusant. 

There were other Roman Catholics in Craven, as follows : — ArnclifFe, 1 ; 
Burnsall, 2; Bentham, 2; Bolton, 3; Carleton, 1; Gisburn, 2; Gargrave, 1; 
Giggleswick, 1; Horton, 1; Ingleton, 7; Kirkby, 2; Keighley, 4; Long- 


preston, 13; Mitton, 19; Slaidburn, 5; Thornton, 17. The return is 
certified by Sir Richard Tempest and Mr. Thomas Heber. 

Frequent references to Skipton Roman CathoHcs are to be found in 
the West Riding Sessions Rolls of the last quarter of the seventeenth 
century. In his " Nonconformist Register," Mr. J. H. Turner quotes 
many decisions of the justices at Skipton Sessions. In 1678, Henry 
Barrows, the Constable of Skipton, under a warrant for apprehending 
Popish Recusants, took John Cotton, of Skipton, a paj)ist, who called the 
constable a " pittifull rogue and rascall." The same year "John Cothan 
and Eliz. Butler " appear as Popish Recusants. The following year John 
Catton is named, but this should probably be John Cotton, the one 
named above. At Skipton July, 1691, the Chief Constables issued orders 
" to bring papists to justice to take the oaths ; also to disarm them, and 
seize their horses above the value of £5, which were to be sold : their 
arms (guns, &c.) to be taken for their Majesties service," and this was 
effected upon — " Wm. Husband, of Bentham, Gent., Thos. Grimes, of 
Austwick, Arthur Ingleby, of Lawkland, Esq., Richard Beesley, of 
Twiselton, Gent." The same year the following papists were recorded 
for Skipton : — " Mr. John Mitchell, Attorney at Law, John Cothan," 
and for Broughton : — " Thomas Tempest, Esq., Stephen Tempest, gent., 
Richard Tempest, gent., John Tempest, labovirer, Robert Tempest, 
laborr., Thomas Yorke, labor., Edward Yorke, labor., Stephen Yorke, 
labor., Christopher Oxuerd, labor., Stephen Oxnerd, labor., Mrs. Elizth. 
Yorke, Widow, William Lofthouse, labor., Adam Lofthouse, labour., 
Bridget, ye wife of Xplier Oxnerd, Margery Tempest, & Jane Tempest, 
single women." 

In 1687 King James II., being desirous to have the Test and Penal 
Statutes repealed, in order to aid the re-establishment of the Roman 
Catholic religion, gave instructions that all Deputy-Lieutenants and 
Justices of the Peace should answer the following questions : — 

" 1. — If in case he shall be chosen Knight of the Shire, or Burgesse of a Towne, 
when the King shall see fitt to call a Parliament, whether he will be for taking off the 
Penall Lawes and the Tests. 

" 2. — Whether he will assist and contribute to the Election of such Members as 
shall be for taking off the Penall Lawes and Tests. 

" 3. — Whether he will support the King's Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, by 
living ffriendly with those of all perswasions, as subjects of the same Prince and good 
Christians ought to doe." 

The answers of the justices at the Skipton Sessions are given below. 
Most of those gentlemen w'ho answei-ed contrary to the wish of the king 


were deprived of their lieutenancies, or struck off the commission of the 
peace : — 

" West Biding of Yorke. Sept., 1688. 

" The Answers of the Gentlemen Justices taken at Skippton, the 14th of August, 

" Thomas Fairfax, Thomas Fawkes, and Thomas Hitch, Esquires : — 

•' 1. — If in case any of us shall be chosen Members of Parliament, which wee have 
noe prospect of, wee will give our voate upon heareing the debates of the house, 
according to the best of our judgement, as becomes loyall subjects and honest men. 

" 2. — Wee will give our voate for such men to be Members of Parliament, as wee 
believe to be men of sound judgement, understanding, of good principalis, and truly 

"3. — Wee believe it soe farr our Duty to support the King's Declaration for liberty 
of conscience, as to live peaceably with all men of what perswasion soever they be. 


"Tho. Fairefax, 
"Tho. Fawkes, 
"Tho. Hitch." 

" Ambrose Pudsey, Esq. : — 

" 1. — If I be chosen a Member of Parliament, I think myself obleiged to declare my 
opinion concerning the Penall Laws and Test, according to the greatest Reason of the 
debate in the house. 

"2. — I shall give my voate for such persons as are of untainted Loyallty. 

" 3. — I always look't upon those laws which punished men for meer conscience to be 
severe, and one desirous to live friendly with all men. 


" Ambrose Pudsey." 

" Thomas Parker, Esq. : — 

" I am of the same opinion with Ambrose Pudsey, Esq. 


"Tho. Parker." 

" Charles Bull, Esqr. : — 

" 1. — If I be chosen Parliament Man, I shall be for takeing of the Penall Laws and 
Statutes relating to Religious Worship, and the Test alsoe, if upon a full, free, and 
unprejudiced debate, the reasons of the house shall be for it. 

"2. — If I concerne myself in the Election of Knts. of the Shire for the County of 
York, where I am only concerned, I shall be for choosing Charles Lord Clifford, and 
Sir John Key, or other persons of untainted Loyalty, if these stand not, as shall serve 
the King. 

" 3. — I am willing to live friendly and peaceably with persons of all perswasions. 


"Charles Bull." 


Coming now to modern times, we find that up to some fifty years ago 
the Catholics of Skipton worshipped at Broughton, but as the result of 
the late Mr. B. Porri's exertions a room was engaged in Skipton, and 
hither a priest came to conduct service every Sunday. Mainly through 
the Tempest family, of Broughton Hall, a church was at last built in 
the town, and dedicated to St. Stephen. The foundation stone was laid 
on Thursday, October 27th, 1836. Towards the cost of the building 
Miss Frances Tempest contributed £500. Mr. (afterwards Sir) Charles 
Tempest* laid the corner stone, and the occasion was one of much 
importance to the Catholics of the neighboui'hood. The church has been 
more than once enlarged since its erection. The most important altera- 
tions were made in 1853, in September of which year the building was 
re-opened with great ceremony. The chief Skipton stay of the Catholic 
body was for many years Mr. B. Porri, whose useful life ended in 1872. 
The late Mr. I. Fattorini was also a liberal supporter of the interest. 

The Convent, named after its founder. Miss Monica Tempest, of 
Broughton Hall, was opened in June, 1861. The cemetery attached to 
the church was consecrated on July 24th, 1872, by the Right Rev. Dr. 
Cornthwaite, of Beverley, Another addition of recent years is that of 
the handsome organ : it was purchased in 1878. A Sunday and day 
school has been conducted in connection with the Catholic church since 
1848. The present school buildings were erected in 1854. 

The following is a list of the priests wlio have been stationed at 
Skipton since the church was detached from Broughton in 1856 : — 
Rev. George Talbot Bridges, installed 1856 ; Rev. Henry James, 
October, 1857 j Rev. Frederick Smyth, October, 1859; Rev. John 
Gosford, August, 1860; Rev. Alfred White, October, 1862 : Rev. Joseph 
Johnson, June, 1864 ; Rev. Thomas Speakman, October, 1869 ; Rev. 
Antonio Benincaso, October, 1870 ; Rev. Thomas Swift, May, 1873 ; and 
the Rev. Richard Sharp (the present priest), September, 1874. 


The reasons whicli led to the foundation of Christ Church are stated 
in the "Journal Book" of the church, compiled by the late Mr. C. 
Sidgwick. "In the parish of Skipton there were in the year 1831 
about 6,200 inhabitants, who were distributed amongst the different 

* He died December 8tli, 1805. 


townships as follows : — Barden 214 inhabitants, Beamsley 407, Bolton 
112, Halton 144, Draughton 223, Hazlewood-with-Storiths 221, Embsay 
and Eastby 891, Skipton 4,181. The inhabitants of the eastern part of 
the parish were provided with church accommodation at Bolton Abbey. 
The remaining inhabitants of the parish, in number about 5,000, were 
left to the accommodation of the parish church of Skipton, and the 
superintendence of the vicar there. The parish church, however, 
would only accommodate 900 persons in pews, and 250 children on 
benches or steps, and it would have been difficult and expensive to 
increase the accommodation in the parish church. Supposing, there- 
fore, that half the population were at all times able to attend church on 
Sundays, there was a deficiency of accommodation in the parish equal 
to 1,500 persons. Under these circumstances it was proposed to build 
another church ; and as the greatest part of the population unprovided 
with church accommodation was resident in the town of Skipton, it was 
proposed to build for the accommodation of the town chiefly a new 
church, which should contain sittings for 630 persons : 60 of these 
sittings to be free for ever to the poor who may occasionally attend the 
church ; 200 of them to be free of expense to the poor, but under 
certain regulations in regard to attendance ; 100 sittings to be for 
school children, and the remaining 270 to be let or sold for an income 
for the incumbent," Towards this scheme, the life and soul of which 
was Mr. C. Sidgwick, the following contributions were subscribed : — 
The Earl of Thanet gave the site of the church and the burial-ground 
(nearly one and a half acres), value £500 ; Christ Church, Oxford (patrons 
of the parish church), gave land and buildings in the town, part of the 
great tithes, worth £1,000, as an endowment of the new church; the 
Incorporated Society for building churches, &c., gave £300 on condition 
that 360 sittings should be free for ever; the Duke of Devonshire, £50 
the Bishop of Ripon, £20 ; the Rev. J. Bering, the vicar, £315 ; Mr, 
C. Sidgwick, £500; Mrs. Sidgwick, £100; the Rev. W. Sidgwick, £150 
Mr. Jas. Sidgwick, £150; Mr. R. H. Sidgwick, £50; Mr. W. Sidgwick 
£20 ; Miss Baines, £3 ; Mr. S. B. Hall, £5 ; Mr. Jno. Robinson, £50 
Mr. R. Birtwhistle, £10; Mr. Ed. Robinson, £5; Mrs. Bentley, 10s. 
Mr. T. Robinson, £1 ; Mr. F. J. Lace, £100 ; the Craven Bank, £100 
Mr. H. Alcock, £200; Mr. and Mrs. Alcock, of Hastings, £100; Mrs. 
Alcock, £10; Mrs. Westerman, £10; Miss Pennington, £2; Miss 
Smith, £5; Rev. J. Birtwhistle, £50; Mr. Richard Smith, £100; Rev. 
W. Carr, of Bolton Abbey, £31 10s.; Miss Currer, £20; Mrs. Midgley, 
£2 ; Miss Glenton, £1 ; Mr. J. Fell, £6 ; Mr. W. Tindall, £5 ; Miss 
Tindall, £1 ; Mr. W. Stoney, £1 ; Rev. E. M. Hall, £5 ; Rev. T. Collins, 



£50; Miss Mitchell, £20; Miss Moulding, £3; Messrs. Fell, £15; Mr. 
T. Bramley, £20; Mr. W. Birtwhistle, £10; Rev. W. Boyd, £2 2s.; 
Rev. W. Holmes, £2 2s. ; Rev. E. Hay, £5 ; Mr. Isaac Dewhurst, £20 ; 
Mr. J. B. Garforth, £50 ; Mrs. Lawrence, of Studley, £20 ; Mr. Wilkin- 
son, Hellifield, £40 ; Mr. T. Heelis, £5 ; Rev. J. Blackburn, £5 ; Mr. 
W. Marsden, £2 2s. ; Miss Harrison, of Sheffield, £5 ; Mr. W. Briggs, 
Jan., £10; Miss Parkinson, £2; Miss Currer (second subscription) £20; 
Mrs. Sidgwick, £100. Other amounts brought up the total to £2G23 3s. 
T'he estimated cost of the building was £3200, and it was calculated 
that £5000 would cover the cost of the church, the vaults, and the 


The foundation stone was laid on Wednesday, the 21st June, 1837, 
and it is a noteworthy fact that never during the preceding tlu'ce 
centuries had the lilvc ceremony been performed in Cx'aven. The 
foundation stone of Lothcrsdale church was laid a few months after, 
and that church was consecrated earlier than Christ Church. In the 
service the Rev. J. Bering, the vicar of Skipton, took a prominent part. 


The stone was laid by the Rev. H, Roberson, of Liversedge. Upon it 
was a brass plate bearing the following inscription : — 

"This foundation stone of Christ Church, in Skipton, built that the destitute 
inhabitants may have the privilege of attending the public worship of Almighty 
God, according to the scri^jtural forms of the United Church of England and Ireland, 
as now by law established, was laid by the Reverend Hammond Roberson, M.A., 
Incumbent of Liversedge, and Prebendary of York, on the 21st day of June, 1837. 
The funds for building this church are raised by a subscription, headed by the 
Reverend John Pering, M.A., vicar of Skipton. An Endowment of £1000 in lands 
and buildings is given by Christ's Church, Oxford, Patrons of the Living, and a grant 
of £350 from the Incorporated Society for promoting the enlargement, building, and 
repairing of Churches and Chapels, secures for ever to the poor of Skipton 3G0 free 
sittings in this Church.— R. D. Chantrell, Architect." 

During the autumn of 1837 the building was raised above the ground 
and all the window sills were laid in the walls, and in December the 
work was covered up for the winter. In March following work was 
resumed, and by November the masonry had been completed to the top 
string course of the steeple, the roof put on, and the doors and windows 
inserted. In January, 1839, however, the work was retai'ded by a 
violent storm, during which the west windows were blown in, and the 
roof was injured. The steeple was completed by March, and by 
September the building was ready for consecration. This ceremony was 
performed on the 25th September, 1839, by the Bishop of Ripon, the 
Rev. C. T. Longley, who was accompanied by the Revs. Dr. Hook, and 
Dr. Busfeild (his chaplains), the Rev. J. Pering, M.A., vicar of Skipton ; 
the Rev. D. Parsons, M.A., incumbent; the Rev. W. M. Heald, M.A., of 
Birstal; the Rev. H. Roberson, of Liversedge ; the Rev. W. Carr, B.D., 
of Bolton; the Rev. Wm. Sidgwick, M.A., master of the Skipton 
Grammar School ; the Rev. R. Oglesby, curate of Skipton, and others. 
The cost of erecting the church exceeded anticipation. The entire cost, 
including interior fittings, and all miscellaneous expenses, was £6,260. 
In 1840, the parish of Skipton was divided, and the new parish was 
declared as follows : — " The north boundary begins at the east of the 
township of Skipton, where the Otley-road passes from the township of 
Draughton to the township of Skipton, and follows westward along the 
centre of the Otley and Skipton road till it enters the town of Skipton, 
then along the middle of Newmarket street, through Caroline Square, 
taking the houses on the south side of the Square, and along Swadforth, 
in the middle of the street till it comes to the Leeds and Liverpool 
canal. It then passes along the Leeds and Liverpool canal till it arrives 
at the boundary between the township of Skipton and the township of 
Stirton-cum-Thorlby ; [then southward from the canal, when it enters 


the township of Stirton-cum-Thorlby ; along the boundary between the 
township of Skipton and the township of Stirtou-cum-Thorlby, till it 
comes to the river Aire, following the boundary between the parish of 
Skipton and the parish of Carleton, till the river enters the parish of 
Kildwick ; then eastwardly along the boundary between the parish of 
Skipton and the parish of Kildwick until it comes to the borders of the 
township of Draughton, in the parish of Skipton ; then northward along 
the boundaiy between the township of Skipton and the township of 
Draughton, until it comes to the Otley-road, where it began." 

On the 11th April, 1842, the following grants were made towards the 
endowment of the church : — Christ Church College, Oxford, gave land 
and buildings, being the old tithe barn in Swadford-street, with its yard 
and two cottages, value £1,000, the yearly rent of which was £31 10s. ; 
the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty gave £200 ; and the Ripon 
Church Building Society gave £200 ; thus making an annual endow- 
ment of £41 10s. In 1843 the endowment was increased by an annual 
grant of £44 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. 

In 1844 the six side windows of the chancel were taken out and six 
new ones of coloured glass were inserted in their place. The parsonage 
in Swadford-street was built in 1845-6, and in 1845 a National School 
for this parish was opened. A new east window of stained glass was 
inserted in 1846 at a cost of £125, and in 1854 three stained glass 
windows were placed in the west end of the church. 

In 1860 Christ Church became independent of the parish church, and 
ceased then to pay rates to the parish church. A church rate for the 
repair of the church was then made for the first time. In 1873 the 
church was first lighted with gas, the first evening service being held on 
Sunday, June 22nd, of that year. 

The first minister in charge of Christ Church was the Rev. D. 
Parsons, who resigned in 1840, and was followed by the Rev. R. Ward, 
then curate of Leeds. Mr. Ward resigned 13th November, 1845 (died 
1869), and early in the following year the Rev. John Blair, M.A., lately 
curate of New Shoreham, Sussex, was licensed to the perpetual curacy 
on the presentation of the Rev. P. C. Kidd, vicar of Skipton. Mr. Blair 
resigned on Trinity Sunday, 1849, and was succeeded in September by 
the Rev. Wright Willett, who held the curacy rather more than twelve 
years. Mr. Willett died January 21st, 1862, aged 64 years, and he was 
succeeded by the Rev. W. H. Clarke, who came into residence Tuesday, 
April 15th, 1862. Mr. Clarke's firs<- appointment was to a curacy in 



Norwich about 32 years previously. This he held along with a sub- 
mastership in Norwich Grammar School. After remaining there several 
years, he became incumbent of St. Peter's, Yarmouth, where he laboured 
thirteen years. Mr. Clarke became in 1846 incumbent of Herringfleet, 
near Lowestoft, succeeding to the vicarage of Christ Church, Skipton, 
sixteen years later. 


A Baptist church was formed in Skipton in 1850, although for two 
years previously the town had been visited by members of the Village 
Mission. The interest was established under circumstances unusually 
favourable, for from the first much public attention was centred upon 
the efforts of the evangelists from a controversial incident which 
occurred. This is thus recorded in a church book of the denomination : 
— " The missionaries in connection with the Baptist Village Mission 
(Samuel Jones and Robert Hogg) being sent in the order of Divine 
Providence by the committee of the Mission, with the view of extending 
the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ by visiting Skipton, Addingham, 
Ilkley, Burley, and Otley, and preaching the gospel publicly and from 
house to house, and distributing tracts during one week, in the month 
of June, 1848, the first place visited was Skipton; ixnd here the Lord 
stayed the progress of his servants by detaining them the whole of the 
week, for during a public preaching in the market-place on the subject 
of Christian baptism, Mr. Jones was interrupted during his address by a 
[Wesleyan] minister [the Rev. Mr. Ballingall], who denied a statement 
made ; and who on being requested to disprove it was invited publicly 
to discuss before the people." The challenge was accepted, and a two 
nights' discussion took place on 'Believers' baptism scriptural, and 
infant sprinkling unscriptural.' The interest raised was great. Several 
persons (Baptists) from other churches in the neighbourhood made them- 
selves known, and expressed a wish to have the discussion printed, and 
1000 copies were sold. On leaving Skipton the missionaries were urged 
to come again soon. The committee of the Mission were thankful for 
this unlooked-for opening, and sent occasionally a missionary for a few 
days to visit the people at their own houses, and also to preach out of 
doors. The Word of God was made known in David Smith's, William 
Gatenby's, and other houses to large and attentive congregations, and 
some five or six of the friends thought it desirable that a large room 
should be taken, and that they should begin in a large way before the 


people ; but this was not the Lord's way, as no room could be obtained 
until the people were willing to begin even in a small way, when a room 
with suitable accommodation was obtained. This was opened for divine 
worship in October, 1849, when the following took part in the services 
(which were well attended): — George Mitchell, of Horsforth ; Henry 
Dowson, of Bradford ; I. Chislett, Kirkstall ; and J. TunniclifF, 
Leeds." The number of adherents now quickly increased, and very 
soon from 150 to 200 persons attended the services. The first public 
baptism took place on Christmas-day, 1849, when Mi". Eobert Hogg 
officiated, as he did three months later, when several converts were 
immersed in the Aire. The meetings were held at this time in a room 
in Wesley-place. On the 26th of March, 1850, a church was formed. 
The ceremony of formation is thus alluded to in a church book : — 
" Several ministers from neighbouring towns and villages attended with 
the view of taking part in the interesting occasion, and uniting the 
brethren together in the bonds of the gospel. The service was 
commenced by Mr. Hogg, missionary, giving out the hymns. Mr. 
Bennett, of Barnoldswick, read the scriptures and prayed, and Mr, G. 
Mitchell, of Horsforth, gave an address on the nature and constitution 
of a Christian Church. Letters of dismission were read, and Mr. Samuel 
Jones, of Kirkstall, formed the church — five newly baptised and six from 
other churches. Mr. P. Scott, of Sutton, administered the Lord's 
Supper, when about twenty brethren from other Baptist churches sat 
down. Mr. J. P. Chown addressed the church, and Mr. Walton, of 
Eai'by, concluded." The formation of a church is testified by the 
following signatures : — " J. P. Chown, Baptist Minister, Bradford ; 
Samuel Jones, Baptist Minister, Kirkstall ; Nathaniel W^alton, Baptist 
Minister, Barnoldswick ; George Mitchell, Baptist Minister, Horsforth ; 
Robert Hogg, Baptist Minister, Armley ; W. B. Hindle, Treasurer 
of Baptist Village Mission; and William Hardy, Member of the 

Gradually the cause gained in strength, until, aided liberally by the 
late Mr. Heap (ob. 1875), and others, the congregation built the chapel 
and school in Otley-street. The opening services took place on the 28th 
June, 1861, and on the occasion sermons were preached by the Rev. H. 
Dowson, of Bradford, and the Rev. J. Acworth, LL.D., then president of 
Rawdon College. Among local inhabitants who took part in the 
services may be named — the Rev. J. Tattersficld, Keighley, the Rev. R. 
Gibbs (Congregational minister, Skipton), the Rev. W. E. Goodman, the 
Rev. A. F. Abbott (Wesleyan), Rev. T, Bennett, Rev. W. Archer, and 


the Rev. John Barker. The buildings together with the land cost about 
.£1,300. For a long time the pulpit was filled by ministers of other 
places and of other denominations, and by laymen, but the Rev. Francis 
Britclifi"e (born 1823), was called to the pastorate in 1864. For about 
fourteen years he faithfully laboured, and built up a strong interest. 
Mr. Britclifife died April 11th, 1878, and was followed in the office of 
pastor by the Rev. William Judge, who came from the Baptist College, 


On Sunday, April 19th, 1868, there was opened in Newmarket-street a 
room for worship in accordance with the tenets of the sect founded 
by the Rev. Benjamin Ingham. The branch was begun by the 
Inghamites of Salterforth, whose preacher, Mr. J. Holgate, conducted 
the opening services. The society never numbered many adherents, 
and in 1882 it was dissolved. 


This is the most recent of the religious denominations of Skipton. 
The Crossbills circuit first turned its eyes upon Skipton in March of 
1873. In that year it was decided that a mission should be established 
here, and its inauguration took place on the 21st June, when a public 
tea and a meeting were held in the Skipton Temperance Hall. On 
Sunday, the 29th of the same month, the first services were held in the 
Temperance Hall, the Sunday-school being held in the morning and 
afternoon, and the chapel services morning and evening. Five years 
after the church was formed at Skipton, eff"orts were made with a view 
of building a chapel. Trustees were appointed, leasehold ground was 
obtained from the Castle, and the substantial building known as Mount 
Hermon Chapel rose on the hill in Castle-street. The chapel cost £660, 
and after its erection the congregation gradually increased. The 
dimensions of the building are 44 feet by 36 feet, and there is 
accommodation for 150 persons. 



JKIPTON is favoiired in the matter of public benefactions. 
These are numerous, and several are valuable. The names 
of Ermysted and Petyt will ever be held m respect, in so 
tangible a manner did these worthies show their affection 
for this town. In the following pages as complete a record of the 
charitable bequests belonging to the parish as can be compiled is given. 
It should, however, be stated that some of the money-charities named 
hereafter have entirely passed out of sight and remembrance. 

1548. — The earliest benefaction known is that most valuable one of 
Canon William Ermysted. So long as the Grammar School of Skipton 
continues, so long will this name be honoured. 

1556. — This year the now discontinued Clerk's School was founded — 
it is believed, by the same generous man. Originally the endowment con- 
sisted of lands at Wyke-in-Harewood, but in time an annual payment of 
^12 was made in lieu of this. It obtained the name of Clerk's School 
from the fact that the office of teacher was linked with that of parish 
clerk. The earliest reference to this school I have met with is the 
following, in the parish register: — "Memorandum. — That I, Thomas 
Preston, came to be clarke of Skipton and begun upon Sunday, the 29 
of Aprill, 1627, and tooke possession of the skoole upon Monday, the 
30 of April, 1627, in the presence of the right worshipfull Mr. Lowder 
and Mr, Hues, Mr. Sutton, vicker, and Mr. Barker, skoolemaister [of the 
Grammar School], w'th the churchwardens." An entiy of later date is 
as follows: — "August 7, 1631. — [Was buried] Abell Robinsonne, of 
Skipton, clarke, who was schoolmaster at the clarke school x x yeares." 


In his time Thomas, Earl of Thanet, whom the parish register justly 
speaks of as " the good Earl," was a liberal supporter of this school, as 
he was of other educational and religious agencies in this town and 
locality. In 1720 he gave .£15 to the funds of the school. An old 
churchwardens' book contains the resolution of a town's meeting called 
to consider sundry charges made against the parish clerk of 1771, both 
in his capacity as church official and schoolmaster. It was alleged that 
he had upon a certain Sunday, during time of divine worship, been 
" drunk or very much intoxicated with liquor, and behaved in a very 
indecent, irreverent, and scandalous manner, to the great dishonour of 
God, the church, and of all good people." Further, that " being in 
possession of the school commonly called the clerk's school, in Skipton, 
and which is annexed to the clerkship," he had " shamefully neglected 
the same, so that the children of poor and indigent parents and other 
inhabitants are deprived of the advantages of the said school ; and must 
thereby remain illiterate, to the great detriment of such poor children." 
The answer given by the schoolmaster to these charges was a simple 
denial. He was, however, suspended for a time. 

Even in its later years the school-room was a very humble building. 
It stood at the western end of the church-yard, and had a roof of 
thatch. The following entries are from a churchwardens' account- 
book : — 

Sept. 7.— School thatching behind church, £1 16s. 8d. 

Sept. 6. — James Ward, 30 threaves ling, repairs dark's school, £3 16s. 3d. 

,, — Samuel Lister, lime, &c., for dark's school, 13s. 6^d, 
Dec. 6.— Richd. Ellison, for thatching school, 18s. 9c?. 

A resolution adopted at a vestry meeting in 1806 (held on the usual 
day, Sunday) gives the conditions upon which the school was then 
taught : — " At a vestry meeting James Hall was appointed parish clerk, 
and also master of the clerk's school, and he promised that in considera- 
tion of the salary of £12 paid by Ignatius Ingham, Esq., of Marton, out 
of lands at Wike, in the parish of Harewood, he will diligently teach the 
said school under such rules and regulations as the minister and church- 
wardens for the time being shall from time to time make and ordain ; so 
that he be not required to teach gratis more than eight scholars to read, 
and that he be allowed to take a farther reasonable number of scholars, 
and allowed to charge for their tuition and instruction the usual price, 
or such as shall be directed for the same by the said minister and church- 



wardens ; to which proposal the said James Hall assented." The Clerk's 
School was continued until 1814, when the National School was begun, 
and the annual payment of £12 is now applied towards the salary of 
the organist of the parish church. Had the income from the Wyke 
lands been yet received instead of this sum of £12, the annual revenue 
would in all probability now have amounted to some hundreds of 

1593. — Margaret Countess of Cumberland, mother of the Countess of 
Pembroke, founded Beamsley Hospital, an asylum for thirteen widows — 
a mother and twelve sisters. The building stands on the side of the 
Skipton and Knaresborough road. It is of circular form, in diameter 
about thirty feet, with a small chapel in the centre. The chapel is sur- 
rounded by seven apartments, five of which open into it, while the 
remaining two open into the passage. In addition to these seven rooms 
there are six cottages adjacent to the hospital. The inscription facing 
the road (which is not, however, the original one), runs as follows : — 

This Alms housk 
was founded by that 
excellent lady mar- 
garet eussell countessb 
OF Cumberland wife to 
George Clifford third 
Earle of Cumberland 
1593. And was more 
perfectly finished by 
HER ONLY Child the Lady 
Anne Clifford now 
Countesse Dowager of 
Pembrooke Dorsett and 

God's name be praised. 

Scripture is read three times a week to the inmates, and the sacrament 
is administered four times a year. 

When the hospital was founded, the Earl and Countess of Cumberland 
were by the charter to appoint the first mother and sisters ; after which 


the right of election was left with the sisters themselves. " The said 
earl and countess and their heirs were invested with the power of holding 
an annual visitation, to audit accounts, inquire into offences, expel the 
criminous and disobedient," and to confirm the election of others in the 
place of those removed. The management of the estates and revenues 
of the hospital is in the hands of Baron Hothfield, as trustee. The 
annual revenue is about £320. The following letters relating to the 
hospital, wiitten by Lady Anne Clifford, will be of interest. The first is 
from the Fairfax Correspondence : — 

" To the Honourable the Lord Fairfax at Denton. Deliver this :— 
"Noble Lord,— 

" I thank your lordship for your letter and for the examinations of Widow Ramsden, 

which you were pleased to send me, because she is one of my worthy mother's alms- 

housers. For the examinations, I have sent them your lordship back again ; and for 

the business itself I will neither meddle one way or another ; but leave it to God in 

heaven, and law and justice in earth. It is true I am very sorry any of the house 

should be accused of so foul a crime, but if she be guilty let her suffer in God's name ; 

if innocent my trust is that through Providence above, and your goodness and wisdom 

in this world, will acquit her. And so I rest, 

" Your lordship's assured friend, 

•• Anne Pembroke. 
" Whitehall, this 14th of May, 1634." 

The second letter is addressed to the reader of Beamsley Hospital : — 

" I have received yo'r letter by this bearer, and ye enclosed petic'on of D. G., 
widdow, w'th my refference thereunto dated at Brougham Castle, 2nd Feb., 1664-1665. 
And by the letter of yo'rs I perceive there is now a vacant place in my Almeshouse at 
Beamesley, by the late death of E. B. 

"I have nowe, here inclosed, sent you a warrant under my hand, for the placing 
therein in her stead D. G. aforesaid. Which warrant I desire may be communicated 
by you to the mother and sisters, that shee may be settled therein accordingly. And 
so, committing you to ye Divine Protec'on, I rest, 

" Anne Pembeooke. 

" Pendragon Castell, this 12th day of June, 1666. 

" Provided that this widow Gill goe to church, and to heare com'on prayer in ye 
almeshouse, or otherwise itt will bring the house out of order." 

1633. — Elizabeth Newby bequeathed lands yielding the sum of £2 
yearly, which is apportioned as follows : — Skipton, 10s. ; Embsay-with- 
Eastby, Draughton, Bolton Abbey, Barden, Hazlewood-with-Storiths, 
and East Halton, 5s. each. The money is secured upon the TumbuU 
Flatts at Draughton. 

1643.— Henry Earl of Cumberland left £50, which in 1663 was 
invested in Langcrofts, in Halton, in extent 4a. Ir. 5p. The income is 
£15 yearly. 


1647.— By his will, dated 28th May, 1647, John Lord Craven 
bequeathed the sum of ^200 to the poor of Skipton. A portion of this 
money was in 1699 invested in lands called Brocca Flatts, 10a. Ir. 22p. 
in extent, and the remainder was in 1824 placed at 5 per cent, interest 
in the Tarn Moor estate. The clause in Lord Craven's will relating to 
this bequest is as follows : — " Item. — I give and bequeath for and 
towards the relief of the poor inhabiting within the towns of Skipton-in- 
Craven, Kuaresborough, Ripon, Ripley, Borough Brigg, in the county of 
York, the sum of one thousand pounds of lawful English money, that is 
to say, to every of the towns the sum of Two Hundred pounds to be 
used and employed in a stock from year to year by the parsons and 
churchwardens there for the time being, and I will and appoint 
that the yearly profit thereof shall be distributed among the poor 
every year at Christmas, but the principal to remain for the benefit 
of the said towns for after times." The annual income accruing 
from the land was in 1881 £55. The sum of £2 10s. is also 
received from the trustees of the Tarn Moor estate. 

1705. — William Petyt, in a codicil attached to his will, and dated 
12th July, 1705, bequeathed: — 

" To the poore of Skipton and Boulton, to each five pounds (£10)." 

William Petyt also left moneys as follows : — £200 to Christ College, 
Cambridge, for the benefit of poor scholars, precedence being given to 
those " which have beene Scholars of the Free Grammar Schoole of 
Skipton in Craven;" also the sum of £50, "to be laid out for the 
benefitt of the Free Grammar Schoole of Skipton afores'd, according to 
the direction and order of my brothei', as a Testimony of my kindness to 
the said Towne." These bequests are more particularly stated 
later on. 

1715. — Earl of Burlington's gift of £5 "for teaching boys writing for 
six weeks in June and July." 

1716. — John Jackman left £1 per annum, secured upon property in 
Brockshaw Plain, for poor widows, to be distributed on St. John the 
Baptist's day, 6d. to each. This charity is yet divided among 40 

1716. — There existed at Skipton in this year, but I do not know how 
many years before or subsequently, a Charity School for Girls. Up to 
that year Lady Elizabeth Hastings had been a principal supporter. I 


find the following payment to have been made by Thomas Earl of 
Thanet in 1718 to this school : — 

To the Charity School for poor gu'les in Skipton, to supply the deficiency occa- 
cioned by Lady Eliz. Hastings withdrawing her subscripcon for two years 
ended the 16th January, 1718, £10. 

In 1719 a similar contribution was given. I have not been able to 
discover when this school was discontinued, but I surmise that it was 
upon the death of Earl Thomas in 1729, for in him the school would 
lose a strong pillar of support. 

1719.— By his will dated May 23rd, 1719, Sylvester Petyt made 
several bequests to Skipton and the parish generally. He had some 
years before this founded the library bearing his name, and an account 
of this benefaction appears later on in this chapter. His money 
bequests will be seen from the following extracts which I have taken 
from his will : — " I do give to the Vicar and Churchwardens in the 
Parish of Skipton in Craven, in the County of York, £10, to be distri- 
buted by them amongst the poor there, as they shall think fit ; and I do 
give them 5s. to defray their expences in the distribution thereof. I do 
further give to the said Vicar and Churchwardens £140 to cloath and 
put out 20 poor children (viz., £7 each poor children and no less or 
more) apprentices (one out of a Family and no more) which shall live in 
or near Skipton aforesaid, and within the said parish ... I do further 
will, direct, and appoint that upon my trustees meeting together to 
examine and audit the accounts, the overplus of the money which, after 
my debts, funeral charges, charges of the probate of this my will, and 
legacys herein given, &c., &c., be satisfyed and paid, shall from time to 
time remain in the hands of the Receiver or Receivers, &c., &c. I do 
direct and appoint the same shall from time to time for ever be applied to 
and disposed of by my Trustees, according to their discretion, to and for 
procuring poor children born and to be born within the Parish of 
Skipton, and within the Towns and Villages of Bolton Brigg, Beamesley, 
Storithes, Hazlewood, and Dear Stones, or some of them, to read and 
write and to cloath and put such of them Apprentices as they or the 
greater number of them for the time being shall from time to time 
think fit ; and to do other acts of charity as they . . . shall think 

fit And if any of my Relations and kindred be objects of 

charity, I hope the trustees will consider them in the distribution of this 
charity." Sylvester Petyt made special gifts to his native township. 
He also left the sum of £100 to be laid out in land, "the rent and 
profit thereof " to be " applyed for buying coals and other necessarys for 


the well keeping of the Library erected by me in the Church of Skipton;" 
also the sum of £20 yearly to be applied to the assistance of poor 
scholars in Christ College, Cambridge, preference being given to scholars 
from Skipton School. It is astonishing how soon the affairs of a public 
charity get out of order. In this instance all seems to have been 
confusion fifty years after Petyt's death. Accordingly, the parishioners 
appear to have resolved on January 28th, 1787, to " state to Parliament 
the flagrant mismanagement and misapplication of Mr. Pettyt's Charit- 
able Donations to this Parish, for the obtaining such redress in the 
premisses as Parliament may think fit." The meeting resolved also 
" that Edward Kitching and John Baynes, Esqrs., be appointed agents 
for the purpose of taking such steps in the premisses as they may think 
proper." This resolution is endorsed by the Rev. R. Withnell, curate, 
and twelve others. The outcome of this agitation was the adoption of a 
scheme in 1790, settled by Lord Chancellor Thurlow. After remaining 
again in an unsatisfactory condition for a long time, a new Scheme for 
the management of the Charity was approved in 1879. In the arrange- 
ment of this scheme due regard has been had to the claims of all the 
villages surrounding that in which Sylvester Petyt was born. 

1739. — Lady Elizabeth Hastings founded an exhibition to Queen's 
College, Oxford, the annual value of which is £20, open to the scholars 
attending the Skipton Grammar School. Lady Hastings founded a 
similar exhibition in connection with seven other schools in Yorkshire, 
two in Westmorland, and two in Cumberland. 

1756. — Catherine Parker gave £30, the interest of which was to be 
bestowed in bread, to be given in the church the last Sunday in every 

1784.— Catherine Priest, by will dated 9th July, 1784, left the 
interest of £30, to be given in bread on the second Sunday of every 
month. This money is now paid by the Craven Bank, 

1801. — By will dated February 5th, 1801, and proved October 25th, 
1808, Robert Robinson, tailor, of Skipton, left £100, to be applied as 
the following clause orders. This money was in 1824 placed out at 5 
per cent, interest in the Tarn Moor estate. " I give and bequeath," says 
the testator, " to the churchwardens of Skipton for the time being and 
their successors for ever the sum of One Hundred Pounds in trust to 
place out the same at Interest upon good and sufficient security, and the 
interest thereof to pay to Sarah Crowder, of Beamsley Hospital, during 
the term of her natural life, and from and after her decease to pay the 


same interest unto some one poor industrious person, and whose legal 
settlement is within the township of Skipton, and not having less than 
three children born in wedlock, and who has not received any relief from 
the poor rates for one year before, according to their discretion. No 
person shall receive the benefit of this legacy more than once." The 
sum of <£4 9s. is now paid annually to the churchwardens out of the 
Tarn Moor estate. 

The charities attaching to other places comprised in the parish of 
Skipton are the following (taken from a record in the parish church), 
though in this case also some of the benefactions have been lost 
sight of : — 


1633. — Newby's Dole of 5s., mentioned before. 

1725. — Robert Bollaud left money which is secured on Hungerhills, 
in the "West Fields, 7 acres. 

1829. — John Colton left £150 (William Umpleby being trustee), the 
interest of which is given on St. Valentine's Day. 

1633.— Newby's dole, 5s. 

Bolton Ahhey. 

1643. — Earl of Cumberland's gift, <£3 per annum. 

1697. — Boyle's free school, endowed with land at Halton, in extent 
53a. 2r. 35p., and a rent charge of £20 per annum from Scale Park. 

1719. — Sylvester Petyt by his will ordered the payment of £10 to the 
churchwardens and overseers of Bolton Abbey, distributed amongst the 
poor of Storiths, Hazlewood, Bolton Bridge, and Dearstones ; also the 
sum of £140, for the clothing and apprenticing of 20 poor children 
living within the same places. He also left £300 to be invested in a 
building to be used as a school for his native township. 

1633.— Newby's dole, 5s. 

East Halton. 
1633.— Newby's dole, 5s. 

1769. — On the enclosvire of the Green, land to the extent of 6a. 3r. 
15p. was allotted to the poor. The rent, now £9 10s., is divided on St. 
Thomas' Day. 

— . — Gott's dole, £1 per annum, secured on the White Flatt. 


1574, — William Frankland's dole, .£3, received from the Clothworkers' 
Company, His will is dated August 19th, 1574, 

1633.— Newby's dole, 5s, 

1700. — Schoolhouse left by — . Winterbiirn, A close has been 
attached by the Duke of Devonshire, The endowment, I believe, is £15 
per annum. 

1719, — A salary of £19 was given by the trustees of Petyt's charity 
to the schoolmaster of the above school, where now there is no payment 
by the children. 

— . — Thomas Holmes' gift, a rent charge of 5s., accruing from land 
at Denton, and paid on St. Paul's Day. 

Stirton-with- Tliorlhy. 
1633,— Newby's dole, 5s. 

Several benefactions to Skipton of larger extent must now be named, 


The Free Grammar School of Skipton was founded in 1548, by 
William Ei*mysted, Canon Residentiary of St. Paul's, and Chaplain to 
Queen Mary. The lands whence its income was derived were vested in 
Sir Ingram Clifford, Knight ; William Tankard, Stephen Tempest, 
Esquires ; Tristram Boiling, Lancelot Marton, Thomas Lister, of Wcstby, 
Gentlemen ; and others. These lands were situated at Skipton, 
Addingham, and Eastby, and the rental at that time amounted to 
£9 9s. 4d., about a hundredth part of their value several years ago. In 
the Castle Evidences casual references to the lands at Skipton are found. 
In the year IGOO, tenants in Skipton had holdings as follows: — 
" Isabell Kytchenge, one crofte, a garden, iiij closes of her owen 
inheritance, and one oxgange of land belo'inge to the free gramar schole 
of Skypton ; " " Uxor Henrye Sothergell, one crofte, a garden, iiij closes, 
ij oxgange of lande and tenem't to the free gramar schole of Skypton ; " 
" Rich. Whetfelde, one oxgange of land and tenem'ts to the gramar 
schole of Skypton." At the same time reference is made to the " frye 
skoUe of Cletherroo." The charter of foundation is dated September 
1st, 1548. It is as follows : — 

"Granted to Sir Ingram Clifford, knight, and others, all those messuages, lands, 
tenements, rents, and hereditaments, in Adyngham, in the county of York, viz, — 
One tenement with the lands and premises therewith demised, of the yearly value of 


38s. 5d,— one messuage and lands of the yearly value of 30s. 7d.— one messuage and 
lands of the yearly value of 8s.— one messuage and lands of the yearly value of 17s.— 
one messuage and lands of the yearly value of 6s.— And also, all those messuages, 
burgages, tenements, and land in Skipton and Estbye, which vi^ere of Henry 
Earl of Cumberland, viz. — One messuage, tenement, or burgage, and lands in the east 
part of Bentley Bridge, of the yearly value of 36s. 8d.— a messuage or burgage and 
lands, near Walke Mylle, called Halcroft, and another close there of the yearly value 
of 22s. 8d.— one oxgang of land of the yearly value of 6s.— another oxgang of land of 
the yearly value of 6s.— another oxgang of land of the yearly value of 6s.— a messuage 
in Estbye of the yearly value of 12s.— and one oxgang of land in Estbye of the yearly 
value of 6s. — to hold to them, their heirs and assigns for ever. 

"To the intent that they, and the survivors of them, and their heirs and assigns 
should yearly receive all the issues and profits thereof, and with the same perform all 
things which in a schedule thereto annexed, for the erecting, continuing, support, 
government, and good rule of a school in Skipton-in-Craven, for boys resorting thither 
to be taught, are specified, — 

" That, whenever so many of the feoffees shall die that there shall not be above 
five surviving, the survivors shall make an estate by their deed to other discreet 
persons, to the number of thirteen at the least, of the premises to the use aforesaid. 

"And the said William Ermysted ordained, that there should be a school in 
Skipton-in-Craven, from time to time for ever, for the instruction of boys there in 

" That the said school shall be kept in a house in Skipton, which he purchased of 
Henry, Earl of Cumberland, on the 20th of August, in the first of Edward the sixth, 
1547, for the instruction of boys, as well in the rudiments as in all the art of 

" That there shall be one master. 

" That he shall daily enter and teach in the same school (except feast days), unless 
hindered by illness, or other reasonable cause, immediately after six in the morning, 
from the first of March to the first of October, and shall there faithfully exercise 
himself in teaching the boys until eleven ; and from one in the afternoon untU six; 
and from the fii'st of October to the first of March shall begin at seven in the morning, 
and shall instruct the boys there untU five or six as necessity shall require. 

" That the said master shall be a chaplain or priest, and that he, and his successors, 
shall teach the boys the alphabet according to the proper pronunciation of syllables, 
and shall afterwards proceed in order in the grammar art, and the rudiments thereof, 
with the frequent use in the Latin tongue according to their capacities, from the 
advanced scholars, and that they compose epistles, orations, and verses. 

" That the said chaplain, immediately after entering the school, shall say the Psalm, 
* Miserere mei Deus,' which he shall not omit under the penalty of 20d. for each day ; 
and if he shall wilfully omit daily for a month, he shall be removed. That the said 
chaplain shall be personally present in the parish church of Skipton every Sunday 
and feast day, when there shall be service. 

" That the chaplain, if thereto disposed, and he shall not be hindered by any 
reasonable cause, shall celebrate in the said church, on Sundays and feast days, and 
three days in every week, before seven in the morning. 

" That he shall not absent himself from the said church and school above twenty 
days at one time, or several, in any year, under the penalty, for the first offence, of 
20s, ; then 30s. ; and for the thu-d removal from his office. 



'If the chaplain shall dilapidate any of the buildings, or shall not faithfully 
observe all things incumbent upon him, or be convicted of any notable crime, or shall 
for his offence incur any mutilation whereby he shall be hindered from the execution 
of the sacerdotal order or the instruction of boys, or that he shall not be able to 
perform the service aforesaid and abide there, he shall be removed by the vicar or 
curate and churchwardens there. 

" That he shall have yearly for his support the issues and profits of all the premises, 
and shall possess the same service for life, if he well-behave himself. 

" The right of nominating a chaplain to the said service of master to belong to the 
vicar and churchwardens. If they shall omit to appoint within a month, the right of 
appointing shall devolve for tliat turn to the Rector or Master of Lincoln College, 
Oxford, and the Fellows of the same College ; and if they shall omit for a month after 
it comes to their knowledge, the right shall devolve for that turn to the Dean and 
Chapter of St. Paul's, London ; and if they shall onut for one month, then to return to 
the vicar and churchwardens, 

"If the said chaplain shall continue in any sickness, so that he cannot exercise his 
said office, he shall have the issues and profits of the premises for one year from the 
commencement of his sickness, so that he provide one of his scholars or another 
sufficient man for the instruction of boys in the school. And after that year, the 
vicar and churchwardens shall provide another who shall instruct the boys there 
during such illness, or during his life if he continue ill, so that the incumbent have 
half the profits for life, and the person^exercising the office the other half ; and after 
the decease of the incumbent, such instructor shall have the office and all the profits, 
if he be fit. 

"That after the death of the said William Ermysted, the right of demising the 
premises shall belong to the vicar and churchwardens, and the chaplain of the school 
aforesaid, so that the emoluments arising therefrom be expended in the support and 
repair of the said schoolmaster and school. 

" When any of the said feoffees shall die, so that there shall be only four surviving, 
the survivors shall enfeoff the most discreet and wealthy parishioners of Skipton, to 
the number of thirteen, of and in the said premises, and so for ever. 

"That this declaration, and all writings and manuscripts concerning the service 
aforesaid, shall for ever remain in a chest in the vestry of the church of Skipton, 
under three locks and three several keys ; one to remain vnth the incumbent of the 
school, the second with the vicar of Skipton, and the third with the wardens of 
Estbye and Emsey, for ever." 

By his will, dated 1707, William Petyt left money as follows to the 
Grammar School : — " Item, I give fifty pounds to be laid out for the 
benefitt of the Free Grammar Schoole of Skipton aforcs'd, according to 
the direction and order of my brother, as a Testimony of my kindness to 
the said Towne." Tlien he bequeathed £200 for the support of poor 
scholars at Christ's College, Cambridge : — " Item, I give two hundred 
pounds to be disposed of and laid out by my deare brother and executor, 
Mr. Silvester Petyt, with the advice of the Master and Fellows of 
Christ's College, in Cambridge, in such manner as shall be thought best 
for the augmentation of the maintenance of such poore Scholars as shall 


be entred of that College : And I will that if any such poore Scholars 
shall be of that College which have beene Scholars of the Free 
Grammar Schoole of Skipton-in-Craven, in the County of Yorke, they 
shall from time to time have the benefitt of this Gift or Charity, 
and this to be done in remembrance of me in that College, of which I 
was admitted." 

Sylvester Petyt also, brother of William, acted liberally towards the 
school when disposing his money in 1719. "I will, direct, and 
appoint," says he, " that out of [certain moneys] be paid yearly unto 
the Master or Keeper, Fellows, and Schollars of Christ's College, in the 
University of Cambridge, the sum of .£20 of lawfull money of Great 
Britain, without any deduction out of the same for any Taxes, or other 
matter whatever ; on the 4 most usual Feasts or days of payment in the 
year (that is to say), the Birth of our Lord God, the Annunciation of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of St. John Baptist, and St. Michael 
the Archangel, by equall portions. The first payment to begin and be 
made on such of the said Feasts or days of payment which shall happen 
two years next after my decease, for an Augmentation of the 
Maintenance of such Schollar and Schollars which is or shall be 
admitted into or of the said College, and who hath been, or shall be, 
Schollars of the Free Grammar School of Skipton ; — in manner following 
(that is to say) : If there shall be one such Schollar, there shall be paid 
to such Schollar £6 13s. 4d., and if two such Schollars there shall be 
paid to them £13 6s. 8d., to be equally divided between them ; and if 
there shall be 3 Schollars, there shall be paid to them the whole sum of 
£20, equally to be divided amongst them." Furthermore, the same 
testator says : — 

"Whereas my said Brother in and by his will did give £50 to be laid out for the 
benefit of the Free Grammar School of Skipton according to my direction and order, 
I Moll that the said £50, if I do not do it in my lifetime, shall by my Executors be laid 
out in the purchasing in fee simple of some lands or hereditaments or a rent charge 
charged upon and to be paid out of some lands or hereditaments, the yearly profits or 
rent charge whereof I direct and order to be employed to buy books from time to time 
for such Schollars of the said School whose parents are not able to buy them, the said 
purchase to be made in the names of the churchwardens of Skipton for the time being 
at the making of such purchase, in trust for the purpose aforesaid ; and if the profits 
of the Premisses or Rent Charge to be purchased shall amount to more than shall be 
laid out in buying the said Books, I will that the surplusage thereof shall by the 
Master of the said School for the time being be laid out in buying books necessary for 
the Publick use of the said School." 

Lady Elizabeth Hastings — whose zeal and liberality in the cause of 
education are almost proverbial — founded a scholarship at Queen's 



College, Oxford, in connection with this school. Her will, dated April 
24th, 1739, has the following clause : — 

" My will is that eight of the principal schools in the county of York, namely those 
of Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Beverly, Skipton, Sedborough, Rippon, and Sherborne, 
and two more in the county of Westmoreland, namely Appleby and Haversham, and 
two more in Cumberland, namely St. Bees and Penrith, shall each of them have the 
priviledge or liberty of sending one poor scholar every five years to the place of nomina- 
tion herein after appointed, Provided the Head Master of each school send along with 
such scholar a certificate that he hath distinguished himself above the rest of the same 
rank in his school for his morals and learning, that such scholar is well grounded in the 
principles of the Church of England as by law established, that he hath competent 
parts and remarkable industry, and that he hath applied himself to the reading of 
Greek authors at least four years. And provided also, that each candidate brings a 
certificate of his age from the register, signed by the minister and churchwardens of 
the parish he was born in, it being required that every candidate shall be entered upon 
the nineteenth year of his age, and none be allowed to stand after his one and 
twentieth is compleated." 

From the foregoing account it will be seen that Skipton Grammar 
School is tolerably well endowed. Its lands were originally valued at 
£9 9s. 4d. yearly; in 1834 they were worth about £600, and in 1875 
the income was £923. In January, 1880, however, land to the value of 
£13,120 was sold, yet the annual income is now about £750. 


It will have been seen from the instrument of foundation, quoted 
above, that the right of nomination to the office of head-master devolved 
formerly upon the vicar and churchwardens of Skipton in the first 
instance. A curious and undignified dispute arose out of this in 1792. 



A meeting of the vicar and wardens elected the Rev. R. Withnell, then 
curate of Skipton, to succeed to the mastership, but other of the 
wardens opposed the appointment. At a vestry meeting held on the 
24th November, 1792, they passed the following resolution, which I 
copy as it appears in an old churchwardens' book : — 

" We the undersigned, churchwardens of the parish of Skipton, in the county of 
York, DO protest against the measures this day taken or adopted by the church- 
wardens of the said parish, or such of them as have signed a pretended nomination of 
the Rev. Richard Withnell, clerk, to be Master of the Free Grammar School of 
Skipton aforesaid, because such nomination, if such there b6, was obtained out of the 
vestry of the Parish Church of Skijoton aforesaid, where an election for a master for 
the said school has usually been, and because no direct notice has been given of an 
election of a master during the present vacancy ; and because the following notice — 
' Sirs, — I do hereby require and demand of you to induct and put me in possession of 
the Free Grammar School of Skipton, of which I am appointed school-master, — 
Richard Withnell,' was given to us previous to entering the Parish Church of 
Skipton this day, when we meant to confer with our brethren respecting the time of 
meeting to elect a master of the said school, and to give a due and legal notice thereof. 
As witness our hands, this 24th day of November, 1792. 

''"John Mitchell, Skipton 

I " Thos. Parkinson, Draughton 

"Thos. Watkinson, ) stirton-and-Thorlby 
I " Thos. Atkinson, ' 
'Edwd. Moorhouse, Skipton." 

" Churchwardens. 

The other Skipton churchwarden, Mr. Robinson Chippendale, appears 
to have sided with the vicar, whose nominee he was, Mr. Withnell, 
however, took no notice of the above protest, and as peaceful possession 
of the school was denied him, he entered it by force. Whereupon 
another meeting of the churchwardens was held, and the following 
resolution recorded : — 

" December 2, 1792.— We whose names are undervsrritten, being churchwardens of 
the parish of Skipton, do protest against the measure taken by the Rev. Richd. 
Withnell and others in violently breaking open the door of the Free Grammar 
School of Skipton, as being done without our will or consent. — As witness our hands 
this 2nd day of December, 1792. 

"John Mitchell, "Thomas Atkinson, 

"Edwd. Moorhouse, "Thos. Watkinson." 

Of course the disputants went to law, and, as was to be expected, the 
appointment of the vicar and his coadjutors was upheld. At that time 
about seventy boys were gratuitously instructed in the school. Lauton, 
in his " Collectio Rerum Eccles. de Dioec. Ebor.," remarks : — " It was 
decided by the Court of King's Bench, in the case of Withnell v. 
Gartham, 6th Term Reports, p. 388, that the power of appointing the 
schoolmaster was well executed by the vicar and a majority of the 


churchwardens ; in case of neglect to appoint, lapse to Lincoln College, 
Oxford. The school was reported to be properly conducted, and about 
seventy boys gratuitously instructed." 

A new scheme for the regulation of the Grammar School was sanc- 
tioned on the 19th August, 1871. It arose out of an enquiry held in 
October, 1866. Ex-of&cio, representative, and co-optative governors are 
now appointed, and in their hands lies the election to masterships. The 
governing body consists of fourteen persons. It is not now necessary 
that masters be in holy orders, and the office of head-master is 
terminable after due notice. Exhibitions are offered to boys attending 
the school, to scholars of elementary schools in Skipton, and open 
exhibitions are also offered. New and handsome buildings were erected 
a few years ago in Gargrave-road, and these, with gymnasium and 
swimming bath, added later, have cost £12,800. Stephen Barrett, 
mentioned in Lauton's " Collectio " as a " classical teacher of con- 
siderable eminence," was educated at this school. 


The following list of head-masters does not pretend to be a complete 
one, for no record has been kept, and the names appended have been 
obtained from the parish registers and other out-of-the-way sources. In 
each case the earliest date of mastership I have found is given : — 

Before 1600. — John Livset. He died in November, 1631. He was 
master of the school 40 years, but during his later years he lived retired. 

1617. — Lawrence Tayler. 

1627. — Thomas Barker. He died June 11th, 1674: the entry of 
his burial is as follows : — " Mr. Thomas Barker, scool maister of the 
Free Gramer School of Skipton, and physission." 

1685. — Timothy Farrand, He was also vicar of Skipton from 1683 
to November, 1685, when he died. Before taking the living of Skipton 
he was minister at Bolton. 

1715. — George Crofts. He died in February of this year. 

1724. — Eichard Leadal. Died January, 1724. 

1727. — Matthew Wilkinson. He began duties on .July 16th of this 
year, and was master until 1751, wlien he died, August. 


1730. — William Banks, M.A. He died this year, but when he was 
instituted I do not know. A stone tablet on the north wall of the 
parish church is inscribed : — 


Gul: Banks, A.M., 
Qui ScHOLiB Grammaticalis 
DB Skipton Magistbr. 


Die Decembris 11 '"<* 
Anno Domini 1730^0 
iETATIS su^ 31M0-" 

17 — . — Thomas Carr, M.A., of University College, Oxford. He 
was instituted as minister at Bolton Abbey Church, September 24th, 
1747, but he resigned this position in favour of his son (who died 1789), 
when he became master of Slvipton school. The date of his appointment 
I have not been able to discover. While resident at Bolton he was a 
successful teacher. 

1772. — Samuel Plomer. His name is subscribed to resolutions 
entered in an old churchwardens' account-book. A tablet in the 
chu.rch has upon it the words : — " In memory of the Revd. Samuel 
Plomer, A.M., late Fellow of Lincoln's College, Oxford, and Master of 
the Grammar School in this Town. He died the 17th of Octo'"- 1780, 
aged 58." Mr. Plomer was schoolmaster under four vicars of Skipton. 

1792. — Richard Withnell. He was appointed in November of this 
year. A scene in which he figures prominently has been referred to 

1820. — Thomas Gartham, M.A., Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. 

1834. — Robert Thomlinson. He was also curate of the parish church. 
Before succeeding to the mastership of the Grammar School he 
conducted a private school. He died in 1835. A plate on the eastern 
wall of the church records the names and ages of members of his 
family ; alluding also to himself : — " Rev. Rob. Thomlinson, Master of 
•the Grammar School, Skipton, who died November 28th, 1835, aged 
58 years." 

1834. — William Sidgwick, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge. 
He was son of Mr. William Sidgwick, and therefore brother to Mr. 
R. H. Sidgwick, J.P., of Skipton. He continued master for seven years. 


1841. — William Cartman, D.D. He was first connected with the 
school as under-master. Dr. Cartman was bom in the year 1800. His 
early education was received at the Ripon Grammar School. At eighteen 
years of age he became usher at the Bingley Grammar School, and a 
few years later he was ordained by the Archbishop of York to the 
curacy of Bingley. In 1827 he became curate of Skipton Parish 
Church and assistant-master of the Grammar School, The Rev. W. 
Sidgwick was then head-master, and at his death Mr. Cartman succeeded 
him. Under circumstances which it is needless to relate here, Mr. 
Cartman resigned his position in 1867, and in that year he undertook 
the charge of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, at Portobello, near 
Edinburgh. Here he laboured until his death, which took place on 
March 29th, 1869, at the age of 69 years. His degree of Doctor-in- 
divinity was conferred by the Archbishop of Canterbury. At the time 
of Dr. Cartman's head-mastership, the Rev. John Cartman, M.A., 
his nephew, was second master. On the adoption of the New Scheme, 
he removed to Braithwaite, near Keighley, where he acted as curate 
until September, 1869, when he died at the age of 62 years. 

1867. — Horatio Nelson Grimley, M.A. Upon the resignation of Dr. 
Cartman, the Grammar School was closed for a short time, pending the 
appointment of another master. Ultimately the choice fell upon the 
Rev. P. J. F. Gantillon, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge (1st 
in 2nd class of Classical Tripos, 1851), assistant -master in the Chel- 
tenham College. Although selected, Mr. Gantillon declined to 
accept the post, and the Rev. H. N. Grimley (12th Wrangler, 
1865), was provisionally appointed the head-master, and the appoint- 
ment was afterwards confirmed. He continued here until 1872, 
when he accepted the professorship of Natural Philosophy and 
Mathematics at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. The 
Rev. F. R. Grenside, B.A., acted as head-master during the protracted 
interval between his resignation and the appointment of a successor. 
During Mr. Grimley's term of office the New Scheme came into 

1873. — Frederick George Fleay, M.A., Trinity College, Cambridge. 
This gentleman, who is a devoted Shakesperian critic and an accom- 
plished poet, was elected head-master in January, 1873. Mr. Fleay 
was 13th Wrangler in the year 1853, and 6th in the second class of the 
Classical Tripos ; in the following year he obtained a place in the 1st 
class of the Moral Sciences Tripos, and in the 2nd class of the Natural 
Sciences Tripos. He was also third in the competition for Smith's 


prize, the highest mathematical honour which the University bestows. 
After taking his degree, Mr. Fleay held office at the Leeds Grammar 
School, and before his appointment to Skipton he was head-master 
at Hipperholme Grammar School. He resigned in 1876. 

1876. — Edward Tomson Hartley, M.A. He was appointed in 
September, 1876, at which time he acted as second master of Bedford 
County School. He is a Scholar of Sydney College, Cambridge, and a 
Wrangler of 1871. During the early part of his head-mastership 
the old school was discarded, and the new buildings in Gargrave-road 
were entered. One cannot forbid the regret that the historic ground 
upon which Canon Ermysted reared the first modest school-house — 
hallowed now by the associations of three hundred years — could no 
longer be utilised ; but such was the case. 


This Earl of Thanet lived from 1644 to 1729, and for 45 years enjoyed 
possession of the estates — among them Skipton Castle — which his 
ancestor Nicholas Earl of Thanet inherited from Lady Anne Clifford. 
His liberality was enormous. Even Whitaker is enthusiastic in his 
praise. Supplicants for his charity were accustomed to ask him of his 
" wonderful and unbounded goodness " to grant their requests, and in 
the entry of his burial, in the Skipton register, he is spoken of as 
" the good Earl." Perhaps his greatest single act of munificence was 
the founding of a chapel at Silsden, which was consecrated in 1712. 
Among the Evidences at Skipton Castle are innumerable documents 
relating to his benefactions. He was a liberal supporter of the Charity 
School for poor girls in Skipton, he augmented the income of the 
Church of Skipton, and he maintained a curate to look after the spiritual 
aifairs of Silsden. Faithful service was by him invariably rewarded : — 

1715.— Paid William Mason, his Lordship's groom, £14, allowed him yearly in 
consideracon of his long and faithfull service, £14. 

The inmates of Long Preston hospital were frequently remembered by 
the Earl, for his charity was not limited to a particular place or a 
particular community. As might be expected, his tenantry were an 
especial care. Ptegularly as the cold winds of winter came on, did the 
Earl distribute among the poor of Silsden, Skipton, and other places, rugs, 
blankets, and clothing — coats for men, boys, and girls, and petticoats 


for women. This was known as the " winter charity." In a letter 
written to the steward of Skipton Castle by the Earl's agent at 
Hothfield, Kent, in 1719, the Earl desires to know "what number of 
Kuggs may be well given next winter to such poor tennants in Craven 
as have most need of them." The steward is urged to find whether 
there " are more women that want clothes than men." If so he must 
'* increase ye number of pettycoates and lessen the number of men's 
coates." Particulars of one winter's supply of clothing may be given. 
In 1713 the following goods were purchased from "Mr. Garforth and 
Thomas Spencer," of Skipton : — " Four hundred and one yards of 
* halfe thicks,' which were cutt att Skipton Castle the 1 7th of November, 
1713, by John Knowles, John Robinson, Charles Toogood, and Henry 
Eycroft, of Skipton, William Toaiion, and Thomas, Silsden, six poor 
taylors, into ffifty women's petticoates, ffifty girles' coates, and flfifty 
boys' coates, and there remain'd uncutt att Skipton twenty seven 
yards and a halfe to be disposed of the next year." It appears, 
therefore, that not only did the Earl distribute garments to poor people ; 
he employed poor workmen to make them. At the same time the Earl 
bought " att Huthersfield one hundred and seventy three yards, which 
with thirty four yards and a halfe left uncutt the last year amounts to 
two hundred and seven yards and a halfe, which were cutt for Craven 
into flfifty men's coats." A winter's cloth charity in Skipton alone 
consisted of coats for 50 men, 60 girls, and 60 boys, and petticoats for 
80 women. The recipients of the Earl's " winter money " were very 
numerous. Among his pensioners in 1718, I notice, were : — 

Mr. Farrand's widw, formerly vicar of Skipton, £1. 

Anne Banton, of Silsden, widow, old, and her husband a gt looser by the coale 

pitts, £2. 
John Hodgson, of Halifax, who farmed Holme demesne, now old, poor, and very 

simple, half yearly, £1. 
The three daughters of Mr. Sutton, formerly vicar of Skipton, one of them 

bed-rid, another very helpless, all very poor, £5. 
Mary Claphamson, widow of Robert Claphamson, who farm'd the George Inn, in 

Skipton, £2. 

The following is " A particular of the Distribution of one Hundi-ed 

pounds by the order of the Right Hono^^® Thomas Earle of Thanet 

towards the Reliofe of the poore of severall Parishes as flfoloweth, in the 

yeare 1683":— 

£ s. d. 

To the Parish of Skipton 23 00 00 

„ „ Broughton 04 00 00 

„ „ Kighley 08 00 00 

„ „ Ighley 05 00 00 


£ s. d. 

To the Parish of Addingham 06 00 00 

„ „ Linton 04 00 00 

„ „ Gargrave 06 00 00 

„ „ Burnsell 08 00 00 

„ „ Thornton 04 00 00 

„ „ Carleton 04 00 00 

„ „ Kildwick, wth the lordship of 

SUsden 22 00 00 

„ „ Kirkby-in-Malhamdale 04 00 00 

„ „ Marton 02 00 00 

100 00 00 

The Earl, while he thus ministered to the bodily wants of the poor 
among his tenantry, was not forgetful of their spiritual needs. At 
New Year's time he distributed an abundance of books — chiefly bibles 
and prayer-books. He was devotedly attached to the Church of 
England. We may conclude with tolerable certainty, therefore, that 
when old 'Margaret Fletcher, of Skipton,' was a candidate for his 
charitable dispensations, she would have sufficiently satisfactory 
credentials in that, besides being poor and lame, she was " a very good 
church woman" One year the Earl gave away to poor persons in 
Skipton 40 prayer books or testaments, and 97 to the poor at Silsden. 
John Moorhouse, 'of Skipden,' received a "common prayer-book, 
bound up with a Testament in a large volume," and as he was * an 
ancient person,' the print was in large type. One John Barrett also 
received a prayer-book " in regard he being a freeholder, having gone 
three times to York," no doubt to vote at Parliamentary elections. 

The Earl not only administered help from his own substance; he took 
care that the claims of the poor of Skipton were met by the justices 
when assembled in Quarter Sessions. For copies of two letters written 
by the Earl in 1686 and 1687 to the justices I am indebted to Mr. J. 
Horsfall Turner, of Idle, who holds the originals : — 

"Gentlemen, — Since your laaf** quarter sessions I have myself had opportunityes to 
see how numerous they Poore are of this towne, that I finde there Complaint made to 
you last sessions soe very just that I am now desiered by they chiefest inhabitants to 
reminde you of there great Charge occationned by the third part of the Parishe not 
contributing anything, though the whole Poore almost of the Parishe relye whoUy one 
the relief of the towne of Skipton, and there fixe themselves to bee relieved or Perishe 
and have done soe, and heretofore the hold Parishe contributed as I am informed, 
. . . Parishes aught to doe, for since the Law allowes where a Parishe is over 
burdenned with Poore the next Parishe may bee obliged to contribute to there reliefe, 
much more reason I apprehend they townes or Hamletts aught to bee Charged, since 
they are but members of that Body. I never hard any exception made to what is 
proposed to you but by mr. Bull, but I doubt not but you will all agree with mee that 


this is much more reasonnable to bee done then for him to have the confidence to sett 
at Publike sessions as a justice with you. 

" I am your faithful! Frend, 

" Skipton Castle, the 10 of jannuary, 86." 

The second letter refers to other matters : it is rather dictatorial : — 

*' Gentlemen, — Since I recommended to you the hardshippe the Town of Skipton 
lyes under, I had the last week the opinion of a very able Lawyer, who assures me, 
notwithstanding the Act of Parliamt, since this King's Reigne, that every Town 
shall in Generall words keep their poore in these Northern Countyes, yet it noe wayes 
restraines your justice (where 'tis plainly made out to you) that you shall not obliedge 
other Townes of the same parrish (That have in comparison noe poore) to contribute 
to that Town rather than lett their poore perish, which will be the case of the Town 
of Skipton when I am absent, for the number of poore here is soe great, and dayly 
increases, that this Quarter of the parrish wch hitherto has maintain'd them Cannot 
continue the burthen of it : This by my own knowledge I assure you to be their 
condition, and since you gave reliefe to the Towne of SUlesden, wch is the adjoining 
parrish, and I am Lnform'd the Towns of Rippon and Leeds have rece'd the same 
benefitt, and since this Town lyes under as great necessity as these Townes or any 
other (I believe) can doe, their necessity requires your Justice to them, wch I 
should not soe earnestly presse you to doe did it not appeare most reasonable ; at least 
I desire you will now determine it as they may be at noe farther charge, for there has 
been very unnecessary delayes, and I think not that observance or respect pay'd to 
your warrants as you might expect. Another businesse that particularly concerns 
myself is, That haveing a cleare Right to inclose some Ground belonging to a ffarme 
given by my ffamily to an Hospitall, I directed ye Tenant by my order under my 
hand to doe it (showing afterwards my Title to those that desir'd to be satisfy'd in it). 
Notwithstanding which, some of these men with others came and in a violent manner 
threw down the ffence, and threatned the Tenant, and in the Language of the Beastes 
sayd they cared not for the King's Patent nor any proud Lord in England, wth 
severall other most Insolent aggravations wch the Evidence will informe you of. 
This not onely is the highest Insolence to me, but to yourselves, and therefore I doubt 
not but you will make it your own case, that as farre as the Law will reach they may 
receive noe favour, for noe man is a Gentleman or ought to be call'd soe that would 
not make Examples in such Cases. I desire noe excuse or pardon to be ask'd from 
them of me, for the excuse of a Clown after such a rudenesse is more offensive than his 
crime, and punishing their purse will Learne them to govern their Idle tongues. 

" I am your faithfull Trend, 

" Skipton Castle, the 4 of AprU, 87." 

Eleven years before the date of the second letter, it may be noted, 
great distress existed at the neighbouring village of Carleton. It is on 
record that in 1676 there were " scarce fifty families in the whole to^vne 
of Carleton-in-Craven, and the greater part of them standeth in needo 
of reliefe." 

It is not to be wondered at that the Eai'l of Thanet had no lack of 


applications for assistance. For the sake of its quaintness, is quoted the 

" Humble Petition of Jane Davy in SUsden [which showeth], that ye said Jane 
Davy is a Widow near seventy-four years of age, and holds under ye Lordsp a 
Cottage and Garth, for wch she pays ye yearly Eent of five shillings ; yt ye 
aforesd Widow has liv'd in good repute amongst her neighbours all her time, and 
taken abundance of pains (ever since her Husband's death) to relieve and support 
herself and Family, but now by Reason of her great age and daily pain in her body is 
grown so feeble and unfit for work yt she's scarce able to help herself ; so yt at p'sent 
she's reduc'd to great straits, and become very poor and needful : Wherefore, my 
Lord, ye sd widow Davy hiunbly begs yt your Lordsp wou'd be pleas'd to allow 
her some small Pension in this her calamitous and distressed condition, and your 
Lordsp's Petitioner as in Duty bound shall ever pray," &c. 

The widow's petition, it may be added, was generously responded to. 

From beginning to end, Thomas Earl of Thanet ruled over his 
tenantry in Craven and elsewhere with a most generous hand. Thoresby 
says he " appropriated fifteen hundred pounds per annum," out of a not 
very extensive income, "to acts of charity." It was a noble appro- 


Already some account of the career of Sylvester Petyt has been given. 
It is necessary now to glance at the valuable library he presented to the 
town of Skipton during the early years of last centuiy. From the time 
of the first gift of books, the library was kept in a vestry of the parish 
chixrch, and until some fifty years ago it served a most useful purpose. 
It is impossible to say how many books Petyt gave to the town. 
Writing in 1733, Gent, the York topographer, remarks that "in the 
west end of the Church is a valuable library containing about 8000 
boohs" This, however, cannot be true ; the library was not so 
extensive at any time. At the present, there are upwards of 1700 

The books were sent from London at various times. The first gift 
was made prior to 1708, for in a volume of original catalogues, now kept 
with the books, occurs the record — " A catalogue of more Books sent by 
Mr. Silvester Petyt the nynth day of July, 1708, to Skipton, towards 
the Augmentation of the Library erected in the church there." Addi- 
tional volumes were sent August 25 th, 1710; December 1st, 1710; 
August 10th, 1711; October 24th, 1712; January 29th, 1713; May 
21st, 1713 ; July 15th, 1714; December 16th, 1715 ; doubtless also at 


other times. The gifts varied in extent — from a score to two or three 
hundred volumes. In several of the inventories books are said to be for 
the express use of the scholars of the Grammar School, where they were 
to be kept : these volumes are chiefly classics. Petyt also sent pictures. 
An inventory of " pictures in cutts and black frames" forwarded at one 
time names the following : — Queen Anne, Prince George, Lord Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury (Dr. Tenison), Lord Keeper Wright (the Duke of 
Leeds), Lord Archbishop of York (Dr. Sharp), Loi'd Bishop of Norwich 
(Dr. Moore), Lord Chief Justices Holt, Treby, Trevor, Lord Chief Baron 
Ward, George Earl of Cumberland, the Countess of Pembroke, Heneage 
Earl of Nottingham (Lord Chancelloi'), Edward Earl of Clarendon (Lord 
Chancellor), John Lord Somers (Lord Chancellor), William Petyt, and 
Sylvester Petyt (painted portrait). With the exception of the last all of 
these have, I believe, disappeared. Two entries occur in Sylvester 
Petyt's will (dated 23rd May, 1719,) relating to the library : — 

" Item. — I do give to the said Stephen Catterson [the testator's nephew] the pictures 
of my brother and myself which were or are in my late bedchamber, in the house in 
Bell Sauvage Yard, and also my long swing clock in the next room to my said late 
bed-chamber, which was my brother's, which said two pictures and clock I will shall 
be sent to Skipton and placed in the library there in the Church." 

The other entry relates to provision for the well-keeping of the library : — 

" Item. — I do give £100 to be laid out in a purchase to be made in fee simple of 
some lands and hereditaments in the name and hands of the Churchwardens of 
Skipton aforesaid, in trust that the rent and profit thereof shall be applyed for buying 
coals and other necessarys for the well-keeping of the library erected by me in the 
Church of Skipton." 

It appears that about three years after Sylvester Petyt's death, upon 
the hearing of an information filed against the trustees of the will, it 
was among other things " ordered that the .£100 for buying coals and 
other necessaries for the well-keeping of the library at Skipton . . . 
should be laid out in a purchase of lands to be approved by the Master 
[of Christ's College, Cambridge], and that the interest should be paid for 
that sum from a year after the testator's death to the time of payment, 
and that such interest and the rents and profits of the lands when pur- 
chased should be paid to such persons as the trustees should from time 
to time think fit, to be applied for the purpose aforesaid." 

Though Sylvester Petyt was the founder and the chief donor of the 
library, books were given by more than one other well-wisher of Skipton. 
One lot of books — about 60 in number — was given by Mr. Christopher 
Bateman, " of Pater Noster Row, citizen, stationer, and of the Common 
Councill of London, and one of the most Eminent Booksellers in 


England" (for so he is described in the accompanying inventory) 
"towards the Augmentation of the Library of Mr. Silvester Petyt, 
erected in the church of Skipton-in-Craven." At another time books 
were given by " William Busfeild,* of the Inner Temple, London, Esqr., 
formerly a Scholar of the Free Grammar School of Skipton." Among 
them were Dugdale's Ifonasticon Anglicanum (1655) and William 
Petyt's " Miscellanea Parliamentaria" (1680); also Dugdale's Baronage 
(1682). This gift consisted of over a hundred volumes. 

It is not unlikely that a portion of the books given by Sylvester Petyt 
belonged to his brother William, the eminent lawyer. This may be 
assumed from a bequest in the will of the latter, William Petyt's will, 
with codicil, is dated 12th July, 1705, more than two years before his 
death, which occurred 3rd October, 1707. In his will occurs the 
following clause : — 

" And as for and concerning my manuscripts and printed books of law, history, 
antiquity, and Parliamentary proceedings, which cost me many years paines and 
study, and stood me in much charge in collecting, I give and devise them to Joseph 
OfHey, Esq., Richard Webb, Esq., Humphrey Hetherington, Esq., John Austis, Esq., 
John Chamberlaine, Esq., and my brother, Mr. Sylvester Petty t, my trustees, in trust 
and to the intent and purpose that they would use their utmost endeavours for pre- 
serving and keeping them safe and entire for publick use, in such place or places as 
they, or the major part of them, or the survivours or survivour of them, from time to 
time shall appoint, and not to suffer or permit them to be lent, embezzled, or sold ; for 
which purpose I doe give one hundred and fifty pounds to buy or build a place and 
making it convenient for preserving and keeping them, which is to be settled upon my 
trustees, or the survivours or survivour of them, or the heires or survivour of them, in 
fee simple, in trust for the purpose aforesaid, and for my said trustees' paines and care 
which they may be att, I give to each of them five guineas ; and to the intent that the 
said John Chamberlaine may have a more particular care of my said collection I doe 
give him a further legacy of one hundred pounds." 

The testator then goes on to provide for the publication of his valuable 
manuscript collections and tracts. Of many of William Petyt's MSS., 
it is a fact that the Inner Temple Library and the British Museum are 
now possessors. But what would become of the " printed books of law, 
history, antiquity, and Parliamentary proceedings ?" When it is borne 
in mind that the Skipton Petyt Library was first formed about 1708 (one 

* This William Busfeild resided at Ryshworth Hall, and was a Justice of the Peace for the 
West Riding. He married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Abraham Fothergill, of 
Chancery-lane, and Burghill, near Richmond, Yorkshire. He died in 1729. Mr. Busfeild was 
named by Sylvester Petyt in his will as one of those who should aid his trustees in matters upon 
which they might desire counsel. There is still preserved among the family plate in the 
possession of Lieut. -Col. Busfeild a very handsome silver gilt bowl, weighing 120oz., which 
bears this inscription :—" The gift of the Trustees of Mr. Sylvester Petyt to Wm. Bus- 
feild, Esqre." 



year after William Petyt's death, and eleven years before that of Sylvester), 
it may, T think, be safely assumed that a portion of the library of 
William Petyt formed the nucleus of that collection. Sylvester Petyt 
(sole executor of his brother's will) would, along with his co-trustees in 
the matter of William Petyt's library, have to decide as to the disposal 
of the printed books ; and what more likely than that a portion should, 
by his request, be given to the people of Skipton — a town for which he 
evidently cherished strong feelings of attachment 1 Skipton was not the 
only place Sylvester Petyt remembered when dispersing his literary 
treasures. Nearly a hundred books were given by him in 1714 
"towards the augmentation of the Library erected in the Grammar 
School of Bolton in Craven, and sent thither the fifteenth day of July." 

The library at Skipton — now kept in the new Grammar School, 
to which place it was removed from the church in 1881 — comprises 
a great number of theological works, also collections of historical tracts, 
chiefly of the time of Charles I. and the Commonwealth, classical works, 
and works of history, such as Holinshed's, as well as a mass of 
miscellaneous literature. A board, which was formerly fixed upon the 
vestry wall, bears the following inscription (it is now preserved with the 
books) : — 

Sylvester Petyt Gentleman who 


OF Bernard's Inn in London and 
still a worthy member op y^ said 
society and the munificent 
Founder of this valuable Libra- 
ry. This Monument is in token 
OP humble Gratitude. 1719. 

In course of time the library fell into careless hands. Volumes were 
lent, and in many instances were never returned. It is said that about 
thirty years ago some of the tracts were seen in the hands of London 
booksellers, exposed for sale, and that others were some years previously 
sold at Skipton Market Ci'oss. A long time ago the sanction of the 
Court of Chancery was sought for the sale of the whole collection of 
books, but by the kindly interference of a friend of Skipton who was 
present in court at the time, the application was not granted, and the 



town was allowed to retain this valuable library. It may be observed 
that the Charity Commissioners, on the occasion of the enquiry into the 
Petyt Charity held several years ago, proposed to sell the library, 
the proceeds to be invested in Government annuities, and the income 
to be applied as part of the general income of the Charity ; but urgent 
representations were made to the Commissioners by the Rev. P. C. 
Kidd and Mr. R, H. Sidgwick, and the proposal was not further 
entertained. The new Charity Scheme (approved 1879) provides that 
an annual payment of £5 shall be paid " for the well-keeping of the 
library erected by the founder in the church at Skipton whilst the same 
shall be kept in a place to which the inhabitants have constant and 
comfortable access for reading the books there, and any part of the last 
mentioned payment may be apphed in re-binding books or purchasing 
new books, or for any purpose which the trustees may deem to be for 
the benefit of the said library." The library is now kept at the new 
Grammar School, and advantage is not taken of this provision. 


In the year 1795 a severe famine was felt throughout England, and 
in the district of Craven there was a great amount of suffering. What 
was termed the " Corn Charity " was raised in Skipton that year. On 
the 26th of July a vestry meeting was held " to take into consideration 
the high price and scarcity of corn," and it was resolved to "open a 
subscription for the purpose of buying corn, and to deliver it to the poor 
at reduced prices." The contributors to this fund were : — 

Peter Garforth 5 

Francis Lister 5 

John Heelis, sen 5 

John Heelis, jun 1 

Abr. Chamberlain 5 

Wm. Chamberlain 5 

Matthew Tillotson 5 

Christ. Netherwood 5 

John Baynes 10 

W. Alcoek 5 

W. Moorhouse 5 

Jno. Kendall 1 

Mrs. Bayley 1 

David Hall 5 

J.Wilkinson 1 


















£ s. d. 

S. Sharp 110 

Edw. Whitehead 110 

James Brown 110 

J. BaUey 2 2 

Wm. Dale 2 2 

Jno. Carr 3 3 

Geo. Baynes 2 2 

Edw. Moorhouse 5 5 

Thos. Chippindale 5 5 

Jno. Smith 110 

Joshua Lockwood 10 6 

Spencer and Grove 10 6 

John Campbell 110 

W. Walker 10 6 

Robt. Chippindale 2 2 



Thos. Tindal 5 

Thos. Settle 1 

Wm. Sinclair 

John Robinson 

Anthony Waller 

W. Waite 

W. Boocock 

Mary "Wright 

Jno. Buck 

Jon. Binns 

John Sugden 


Henry Hardaker 

Jno. Mather, M.D 5 

Rich. Atkinson 1 

Robt. Robinson 

Saml. Atkinson 

Kichd. Ingham 

Jeffrey Hare 































Mrs. Cockshott 

Thos. Boocock 

Mrs, Dixon 

Mrs. Pullon 

S. Harrison 

Mrs. Hardaker 

John Blackburn 2 

John Mawson 

Wm. Lowcock 

Wm. Alcock, merchant ... 1 

John Mitchell 5 

Thomas Siiencer 

Miss Chippindale 3 

Wm. Sidgwick 5 

James Horsfield 

Mrs. Alcock 3 

Mr. WUkinson, tanner ... 

Duke of Devonshire 10 




























The amount subscribed to this charity was £148 15s. 6d. The charity 
was distributed until May of the following year. 

In 1812 a benevolent fund of a similar character was raised. On 
April 30th a meeting of the inhabitants was held, and subscriptions were 
received " for the purpose of providing corn, potatoes, and other provi- 
sions, to be sold out, at reduced prices, to the inhabitants of Skipton." 
The amount conti'ibuted was £338 14s. Among the donors were the 
Duke of Devonshire, £10 10s. ; the Earl of Thanet, £50 ; Wm. Alcock 
£7 7s. ; Association for the Relief of the Poor in London, £50 ; R, 
Chippindale, £7 7s. ; T. Chamberlain, £7 7s. ; R. Birtwhistle, £7 7s. 
Jno. Blackburn, £7 7s. ; C. Netherwood, £7 7s. ; Jno. Dyneley, £5 5s. 
Geo. Chamberlain, £7 7s. ; Jno. Baynes, £7 7s. ; Rosd. Alcock, £7 7s, 
H, Alcock, Bramley, £5 5s. ; Miss Baynes, £5 5s. ; John Dover, £5 5s, 
M. Tillotson, £7 7s. ; Wm. Chamberlain, £7 7s. ; Jno. Mitchell, £7 7s. 
John Carr, £7 7s. ; Rev. J. Bering, £5 5s. : R. Smith, £5 5s, ; and J 
L. Fox, Bramham Park, £5. 



|E have seen Skipton — indistinctly, it may have been — as it 
was in the time of the Saxon and the Norman ; we have 
had glimpses of it in the foiirteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth 
centuries, and have beheld it more clearly when the later 
Earls of Cumberland held sway in this neighbourhood : it remains now 
for us to take account of the Skipton of last century and of this. 

The population of the town in the middle of last century may be 
roughly estimated from the entries in the parish register. Baptisms 
and burials are recorded as follows for the years 1750 to 1753 : — 

Baptisms (Skipton alone). 

1750 39 

1751 40 

1752 41 

1753 46 

Burials (Skipton alone). 

1750 38 

1751 41 

1752 24 

1753 26 

Hand-loom weaving was at this time an important industry in Skipton, 
and the population may have been within a few hundreds of the number 
in 1801, viz., 2,305. That the town had already attained an appearance 
of respectability, even of comparative handsomeness, is attested by 
contemporary topographers. Writing in 1733, Gent, of York, says : — 
" I have now stray'd a considerable way westward, about 30 miles from 
York, over Rummons-moor . . . and so down a dismal large 
mountain or precipice to this beautiful Town . . ." Defoe, also, 
writing in 1724, says of Skipton : — " We soon enter'd Craven, which is 
a very hilly and craggy Country, as the Name signifies ; for Craven 


comes from this British word Craig, a Rock. But, however unpleasant, 
we proceeded farther North-west, and arrived at Skipton, a good, well- 
built Town encompassed with Hills on every Side. The Market is 
well frequented and supplied. Here is a large handsome Church, and a 
good Grammar-school ; to which one Mr. Petyt, who had been Principal 
of Bernard's Inn, London, gave a considerable Parcel of Books, and 
likewise erected a good Library in the Church. We were agreeably 
surprised to find so handsome a Town, and such good Accommodations, 
in so mountainous a Country." Whether Defoe spoke thus of Skipton 
from actual observation, or the account was merely supplied to him, is 
a question which it is needless to dwell upon here ; there is, however, 
no doubt that much of Defoe's "Tour through the whole Island of Great 
Britain " was, as a writer has termed it, " dexterous compilation." 

At the time of Gent's visit, there were few roads into Skipton worth 
the name. That which enabled the topographer to descend the 
"dismal large mountain or precipice" was the old coaching road to 
Leeds and York, beginning at the end of Newmarket-street. Twenty 
years after the date of Gent's visit, and twenty years before the passing 
of the first Turnpike Act, a local Act was obtained "for repairing, 
amending, and widening the Road from Kieghley, in the West Riding 
of the County of York, to Kirkby in Kendal, in the County of Westmor- 
land." The preamble sets forth that "Whereas the road leading from 
the town of Kieghley, in the West Riding of the County of York, to 
the town of Skipton, and from thence to the town of Settle, in the 
Riding aforesaid, and from Settle aforesaid to Cowen otherwise Coin 
Bridge, in the County of Lancaster, and from thence to Kirkby in 
Kendal, in the County of Westmoreland, is from the narrowness thereof 
in many places, and the nature of the soil, become very ruinous and in 
great decay, and is not only almost impassable for wheel carriages, 
but very dangerous for travellers, and is incapable of being repaired by 
the ordinary course of law : Therefore, to the intent the said highways 
and roads may be forthwith effectually amended, repaired, and widened, 
and from time to time hereafter kept in good and sufficient repair, May 
it please your Majesty that it may be enacted ; and be it enacted by 
the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent 
of the Lords Spii-itual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present 
Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same. That the 
Right Honourable Sackvile Tufton, commonly called Lord Tufton; 
the Right Honourable Sir Conyers D'arcy, Knight of the Bath ; the 
Right Honourable James Smith Stanley, commonly called Lord Strange 



[about 500 names follow], shall be appointed and nominated trustees 
for the surveying, ordering, amending, widening, and keeping in repair 
the said highways and roads leading from Kieghley aforesaid to Kirkby 
in Kendal aforesaid," &c. The toll to be paid was then extremely 
high. For every "coach, chariot, Berlin, Landau, Phaeton, chaise, 
calash, chair, hearse, or litter, drawn by six horses or more, the sum 
of seven shillings and sixpence ; four horses, five shillings ; two horses, 
three shillings and sixpence ; one horse, two shillings." It was enacted 
that " no manner of wooll carrying to Skipton shall pay or be charged 
with any toll or duty at any gate to be erected between Holme Bridge 
and the town of Gargrave ;" also that " no gate or turn-pike shall be 
set up or erected on any part of the said road nearer to the town of 
Skipton than a place called Crossbills, in the township of Glusburn, on 
the south-east side of Skipton, or nearer than a certain bridge called 
Holme Bridge, on the north-west side of Skipton. 

In 1755 an Act was obtained for repairing and widening the roads 
" from the town of Leeds, in the West Riding of the County of York, 
through Otley, Skipton, Colne, Burnley, and Blackburn, to Burscough 
Bridge in Walton, in the county of Lancaster ; and from Skipton through 
Gisburn and Clitheroe to Preston, in the said County of Lancaster." 
Distinct bodies of trustees were appointed for the road between Leeds 
and Otley, the road between Otley and Skipton, that between Skipton 
and Clitheroe, and the roads between Colne and Blackburn, Blackburn 
and Burscough Bridge, and between Clithefoe and Preston. The Act 
provided that the first meeting of the trustees appointed for repairing 
the roads between Skipton and Colne, and Skipton and Clitheroe, should 
be held at the Tolbooth in Skipton, June, 1755, and afterwards the 
meetings should be held as regards the one road at Skipton and Colne 
alternately, and as regards the other at Skipton and Clitheroe alter- 
nately ; the same in the case of the Otley and Skipton road. It was 
also provided that no turnpike or toll-gate should be erected nearer 
Skipton south-west than Carleton Bridge, nor between Broughton and 
Skipton. In 1781 a supplementary Act was obtained. This road 
ascended Romille's Moor at the foot of Newmarket-street, Skipton, where 
there was a toll-bar. In 1801, the trustees of the Trust resolved 
(December 19th) " that a diversion of that part of the road which leads 
from Rumbold's Moor or Rumbles Moor by the way of Draughton will 
be of great public utility, and that the clerk of the road is desired 
strenuously to solicit subscriptions to carry the same into execution." 
The following year a new Act of Parliament was obtained, and in 1803 
the diversion was made, the new road running along the base of the 
Moor instead of the summit. 


Skipton and Cracoe turnpike road was opened in the autumn of 1853. 
By the side of this road, two miles out of Skipton, stands a farmstead 
known as " None-go-by." The peculiar name is of old date. I have 
found mention of it as early as 1729, when it is written "Nonegobies." 
In another document of the same date the word appears, though of 
course wrongly, as " Noveney." The most likely theory as to the origin 
of the word or words is that an inn stood here in former days, and that 
" None-go-by" was its name. The title " None-go-by" is borne by inns 
in other parts of the countiy. 

The new road to Gargrave — then as now styled the New Line — was 
constructed about 50 years ago. Before that time an open stream 
flowed along a portion of what is now Water-street. There were then 
few buildings in that part of the town beyond some cottages by the side 
of the stream. Before Eller Beck was arched over a very steep incline 
led from the bridge over the beck to the beck side. The viaduct was 
constructed at enormous expense by the Keighley and Kendal Turnpike 
Ti'ust. A curiously-spelled entry occurs in the parish register relative 
to the erection of the old Mill-bridge : — " The Milnn Bridge in Skipton 
was built at the charge of the two weapontacks StainclifFe and Ucross, 
by order and warrant ffrom his mai'stis justisis of Assis and afterwards 
conffirmed by his highnes justisis of peace in the jegenerall seshons 
holden for the West Riding, anno domini 1628." 

In 1821 the present Poor-house Bridge was erected. It is so called 
from the old poor-house, which occupied the site of Messrs. Dewhurst's 
dye-house. At the same time the road from the bridge to Belmont 
Bridge was filled up to its present level. The original level is to be 
seen in the road leading down to the Union Square and in the vacant 
ground, used as garden plots, on the opposite side of the road to the 
Square. Poor-house Bridge was built by the Skipton and Clitheroe 
Turnpike Trust, the parish of Skipton contributing towards the cost 
the sum of £200, as follows : — Skipton, £50 ; Stirton-with-Thorlby, 
Draughton, Barden, Hazlewood, Halton East, and Embsay-with-Eastby, 
£25 each. 

Not only is Skipton greatly favoured in the matter of road-com- 
munication : it enjoys also admirable railway and water facilities. The 
canal was extended to Skipton in 1773. A periodical of that year has 
the record: — "April 7th, 1773. — The grand Canal from Bingley to 
Skipton, in Yorkshire, was opened, and two boats arrived laden with 
coals, which were sold at half the usual price." The length of canal 
known as the Springs was constructed in accordance with powers 


obtained in 1773. The Leeds and Liverpool canal was begun in 1770, 
and completed about 1790. Since the year 1847 Skipton has had 
railway communication with Bradford and the country lying eastward. 
The first train to arrive with passengers came to Skipton on September 
8th, 1847. The Hne into East Lancashire was opened in 1848. The 
line from Bradford to Skipton, and thence to Colne, was termed the 
Leeds and Bradford railway (extension from Shipley to Colne). 
It was constructed by Solomon Tredwell, and the chairman of 
the Company was George Hudson, known as " The Railway 
King," who died December, 1871. The line between Skipton 
and Lancaster (the Little North-Western) was opened on July 29th, 
1849. Several schemes for the construction of a railway between 
Skipton and Ilkley have been before Pai'liament. In 1845 and again in 
1866 application for powers was made. Powers were obtained in the 
former year, but on account of the railway panic which set in immediately 
afterwards they were not exercised. The second application mis-carried. 
An attempt made in 1867 and another in 1874 met with a similar fate. 
It is, however, tolerably certain that within the next few years a line 
will be constructed, as the Midland Railway Company has entered into 
an agreement to provide railway accommodation for the district 
between Skipton and Ilkley, the line to run by way of Embsay and 
Addingham. Parliamentary powers for the construction of a line 
between Skipton and Kettlewell have more than once been applied 
for, but nothing has yet been done. The Barnoldswick and Earby 
railway was opened in the spring of 1871. It is now worked by the 
Midland Railway Company. In 1875 a new station was built at 
Skipton. The premises are extensive, and in their erection elegance has 
been closely studied in conjunction with solidity. 

In the second half of last century Enclosure Acts were obtained for 
Tarn Moor, Romille's Moor, and the Ings, That for Tarn Moor was 
granted in 1767. With regard to this land, it may be noted that at the 
Court Leet in 1740 one " Thomas Oldfield, of the Mil Bridge, within this 
manor," was fined in the sum of " thirty-nine shillings and eleven pence 
three ffarthings, to be paid unto the Lord of this Manor, for oppressing 
the common called Tarn Moor, lyeing within the jurisdiction of this 
court, by overstocking the same with cattle." Several years later the 
jury of the same court agreed to the following resolution : — " We the 
jury do present that several persons do overstock and surcharge Skipton 
Tarn Moor and particularly several persons not having right do sur- 
charge the same by agisting and leaving their droves thereon ; we there- 
fore do amerce every person who shall offend in like manner for the 


fFuture until the next court after Easter the sum of six shillings and 8d. 
for every score of cattle, and so in proportion, that shall be found there 
as an overcharge." It was also agreed that " whereas Skipton Tarn 
Moor, the property of the Lord of the Manor and the fFreeholders of 
Skipton," had been "rendered very useless in respect of surchargeing the 
same," application should be made to his Lordship that the moor might 
be " regulated for the future by reducing the same into a stint to be 
appropriated for the benefit of his Lordship's tenants and ffreeholders by 
applyeing the money ariseing therefrom towards the maintainence of the 
poor." This was ultimately done. 

Previously to its enclosure the land in the Tngs was divided among a 
number of tenants. In 1 720 it was held as follows : — 

" Castle Tenants. 


Widow Jenkinson 11 

Dorothy Hodgson 1 

Fran. Catterson 18 

Jno. Wardman 3 

Eobt. Ashton 13 

Robt. Swire, p. Graham's Ten't 3 

More for Bulldale 1 

Widow Patefield 4J 

Daniel Fenton 11 

William Hodgson 3 1 

Timothy Banks 4J 

Jno. Newsam, p. Barker's 6 

79 25 

" Freeholders. 

" Gaits. 

Mrs. Sutton 1 

Anthony Foster, for Sir Henry Bellasis 































and Mr. Preston S 

Captn. Goodgion 26 

Wm. King 6 

Mr. Jackman 5 , 

Robt. Mitchell 15 

Jno. Haworth, for Lamdale 2 

Fran. Catterson, for schoolland 3 1 

71 23 2 

In addition to these holdings 6 J gaits or 2 acres were held by others not 
specified in the document quoted from. 

The enclosing of Romille's Moor was effected in 1757. During the 
vicarship of the Rev. Walter Priest (1748 to 17G8) frequent disputes 
arose between himself and the freeholders of Skipton on the question of 


tithe. To make an end of these, an agreement, bearing date 8th Decem- 
ber, 1757, was signed between the Earl of Thanet (Sackville), Dorothy 
Countess Dowager of Burhngton, George Lane Fox, Stephen Tempest, 
Samuel Swire, Stephen Walter Tempest, Esquire, and the other free- 
holders of Skipton ; the Archbishop of York and the Dean and Chapter 
of Christ Church, Oxou. ; and the Rev, Mi'. Priest ; and by the terms of 
this agreement the vicar agreed " to accept as composition for tithe upon 
all the lands paying no modus in lieu thereof, or exempt from such 
payment, a parcel of waste ground known as * Short Bank,' situated 
within the newly-enclosed moor." When the land known as the Ings 
was enclosed the following persons claimed right of pasturage : — Sack- 
ville Earl of Thanet, William Duke of Devonshire, Samuel Plomer, 
clerk (in right of Skipton Grammar School), Samuel Plomer (in his own 
right), Elizabeth Swire, Rosamond Alcock, Stephen Walter Tempest, 
*John Birtwhistle, *Thomas Heelis, Appleby; ^Andrew Findlay, Margaret 
Cooperson, Thomas Heelis, Halton; JohnBaynes, an infant; John Parry, 
vicar of Skipton ; "*Hugh Tillotson, *John Wainman, John Blackburn, 
*William Moorhouse, *William Chamberlaiu, "^Abraham Chamberlain, 
*Thomas Hartley, ^Bartholomew Brown, Joseph Thackeray, Joseph 
Robinson, *Edward Hitching, ^Thomas Chippindale, *Josias Morley, 
*John Alcock, *Edward Moorhouse, and ^Thomas Chamberlain. The 
persons whose names are marked with asterisks sold their rights on the 

And here may be introduced a record showing the boundaries of the 
manor of Skipton as perambulated in June, 1773 : — 

" Beginning at a bridge called Carleton Stone Bridge, which crosses the River Aire 
in the road between Skipton and Carleton, from thence down to the west side of the 
said river to a parcel of ground belonging to the Earl of Thanet, containing 3 roods, 
lying open and undivided in a large enclosure belonging to John Birtwhistle called 
Carleton Brigg Field, and round the said parcel of ground to the said river Aire again, 
and so down the west side of the said river Aire opposite to a syke or runner of water 
where the same runs into the said river Aire, which syke divides the township and 
Bradley, and crossing the river Aire and so up the said syke to the common called 
Rumbles Moor, then leaving the said syke up the middle of an old cam or ditch near 
Calder Wall to the end thereof ; from thence north-east in a direct line to a large heap 
of stones called Standard, from thence to a direct line southward to a large earth-fast 
stone called Pembroke Stone, from thence turning south-east to a stone called Gray 
Stone, marked T, which divides Skipton, Silsden, and Bradley, from thence north- 
ward to a stone near Skipton Pitts, marked T and a fleur-de-luce, then eastward to 
another stone upon a place called High Edge, marked T, from thence south-east to a 
stone on Snow Hill Top, marked with the letters T.A. and P., from thence to a stone 
at a place called Thief Thorn, which divides the manors and townships of Skipton, 
Addingham, and Silsden, from thence in a direct line northward to a spring or well 
near a place called Whin Busk, from thence northward along to the wall at the head of 


Draughton Pasture, from thence north-westward along that wall to the corner of 
Skibden Rakes, thence north along the fences of the enclosures dividing the manor and 
township of Skipton from the township of Draughton to a close called Sunnysides 
Bottom, then turning north-east along the fences of the enclosures dividing the said 
manor and township of Skipton from the township of Draughton to a rivulet of water 
called Nolwell Beck, and so northwards up the said beck and the fences near the same 
which divide the manor and township of Skipton fi-om the township of Halton to the 
corner of a close of land in the township of Eastby called Ordermire, which belongs to 
the Duke of Devonshire, from thence turning west along the fences of the enclosures 
dividing the said manor and township of Skipton from Eastby to a rivulet of water 
called Northsides Beck, and so along the said beck, which continues to divide Skipton 
from Eastby ; from thence along that wall to the end thereof, from thence turning 
round a parcel of ground belonging to the Duke of Devonshire, which lies within 
Embsay, called Hodge Peighill, to a bridge crossing the road from Skipton to 
Embsay, from thence turning westward along the fences of the enclosed lands dividing 
Skipton from Embsay to the north-east corner of the Old Park, from thence north- 
west along the fences near a rivulet of water called Eller Beck, which continues to 
divide Skipton from Embsay, to a close of land belonging the Earl called Jonathan 
Walshes Cow Pasture, being part of a farm belonging the said Earl, in possession of 
the said Jonathan Walsh, and from thence along the fences and enclosed lands which 
divide the manor and township of Skipton from the manor and township of Stirton- 
with-Thorlby, to the river Aire, and down the said river to Carleton Stone Bridge, 
where the said boundary began." 

To the older inhabitants of Skipton the Market-street of their youth 
and the High-street of to-day are scenes not very easily identified. 
They miss the ancient Market Cross, with the familiar market-bell. 
The stocks that stood hard by have long since been removed ; so also 
have the market buildings from their position at the end of New-street ; 
while the modest bake-house, blacksmith's shop, and barber's shop 
disappeared at least sixty years ago from Caroline-square. As for the 
pillory possessed by Skipton iu common with most market-towns, that 
was taken down in 1770. 

The Market Cross was not of the ordinary kind. It was provided 
with an awning, under which on market-days farmers and others sold 
their produce. This awning was in the form of a square, and was 
supported by four piers. It was built against a centre pillar of massive 
stone-work, surrounding which were several tiers of steps. Surmounting 
the whole was a small belfry, whence at the appointed hours issued the 
signal for the opening of the market. All butter brought into the town 
for sale was formerly weighed at the Cross, and any found to be of light 
weight was given to the poor, who generally mustered there in large 
numbers upon market-day. The Cross was removed about 40 years ago, 
and for some time afterwards a temporary shelter was erected every 
Saturday where it had stood. This was not used later than 1856. The 
painting of Waller's, " Skipton in the Olden Time," is interesting as 
showing both the Cross and the Stocks. 



The Old Tolbooth, now used as a Mechanics' Institute, is a building 
to which considerable histoi'ic interest is attached. There was a gaol 
here up to within some twenty-six years ago, while until 1864 that 
portion of the premises approached by a flight of steps was used as a 
court-house. The " lock-up " for men was a cellar of miserable propor- 
tions, very dark, damp, and badly ventilated. It was a vile place in 
which to confine any human being, whatever his offence. Dr. Dodgson, 
who died in 1866, frequently appealed to the magistrates when they sat 
in Quarter Sessions at Skipton for a new prison. The cell was disused 
after the erection of the police-station in Middletown. The old " lock- 
up " for women was of a more respectable kind, and, though part of the 
same building with the men's prison, was approached from the main 
street. The present police-station in Otley-street was erected in 1878, 
and was first used in the spring of 1879. The premises are extensive, 
and the interior arrangements are excellent. 

The Dr. Dodgson spoken of above is deserving of notice, from his 
being the founder of Skipton Baths, at the foot of Eomille's Moor. He 
began practice in this town as a physician in 1822, and won great 
popularity. He was possessed of moderate means, and of more than 
average ability, and he assiduously devoted himself to the dissemination 
of sanitary truth among the people. He was the author of several 
medical tracts and pamphlets, among which are those on ''Intoxication," 
*' The Ilkley Waters," and " Consumption." As a public lecturer also 
he was well known throughout the district. In his zeal for the promo- 
tion of sanitary reform, and for the benefit of his fellow-townsmen, Dr. 
Dodgson erected Public Baths at very great expense. With these baths 
was connected a sulphur spring of considerable medicinal virtue. In 
Bray's Tour, 1783, Skipton is thus referred to: — "Near this place are 
some sulphur wells — one called Broughton Spaw, in the road between 
Skipton and Coin, another about a mile off called Crickle Spaw, and two 
at Skipton called the Old and New Wells." Dr. Dodgson's baths proved 
a serious financial failure, and suffering losses in other ways also, the 
philanthropic physician died in very poor circumstances in March, 1866, 
in the seventy-fifth year of his age, and the forty-fifth of his residence 
in Skipton. 

Another of our historic buildings is the old tithe-barn in Swadford- 
street. Before the vicarage was built this erection extended farther 
towards Keighley-road. It was formerly a popular meeting-place. 
Many a company of " strolling players " has with broad jest stirred to 
boisterous hilarity the simple auditory gathered together on a winter's 


evening here. A room of tolerable proportions in the Hole-in-the-Wall 
yard was at one time used for like purposes. This room was the first 
home of the Primitive Methodist body of Skipton. 

To the building at the head of Chancery-lane which bears the high- 
sounding name of Lascelles Hall, a rather curious story is attached. 
It was erected about 1808, just after the memorable Yorkshire 
Parliamentary election in which Wilberforce, Milton, and LasceUes 
were the candidates. The Black Horse Inn (now Hotel) was then as 
now the headquarters of the Tory party. Lascelles was the Tory 
candidate, and it is said that the landlord had at the close of the 
election such a heavy bill to draw that out of the profits the 
house in Chancery-lane — which rose shortly afterwards — was built. 
Hence, in derision, having in mind the defeat sustained by the Tories 
in this election, some waggish Whigs styled the building Lascelles 
Hall, a name it still bears. 

Some of the inns of Skipton are of old date. Among the oldest are 
the Red Lion, or as it was called the Lion, the George Inn (Old George), 
the Black Bull, the Hole-in-the-Wall, the Black Horse, the Unicorn. 
Mention of all these is to be found as early as 1770; two are named 
much earlier. Many inns have ceased to exist. The Sun Inn, the 
White Horse Inn, the Black Bull Inn, the Woodman Inn, the Mason's 
Arms, the Swan Inn, the Jolly Sailors' Inn, and the Oddfellows' Inn are 
among the number. 

Within the last few years a praiseworthy spirit of enterprise has been 
shown by inhabitants of Skipton in the pulling down of old property, 
and the erection or re-erection of houses and places of business. Since 
1850 the town has nearly doubled in extent and in population. The 
rate of inci'ease has been greater during the last ten years than ever in 
its history, for in that period the houses have increased by 656, and 
the people by over 3000. Newtown, Middletown, and Woodman are the 
most recent additions. It would be idle to speculate upon what the 
enterprise of the townsfolk of Skipton may yet do. Many no doubt 
wish that it may some day bring about the removal of the one defect of 
the magnificent market-street, the blocks of buildings known as Middle 
Bow. Perhaps the wish is a vain one. 

A few. figures as to the population of Skipton may be given here. 
In 1801 there were 2,305 inhabitants: in 1811, 2,868; in 1821, 
3,411; in 1831, 4,842 ; in 1841, 5,044; in 1851, 4,962 ; in 1861, 



5,454 ; in 1871 and 1881, 6,078 and 9,091 respectively, made up as 
foUows : — 









Parish Church and) 
Christ Church V 
Districts j 








Parish Church ) 

District J 

Christ Church) 

District J 

















Skipton was made a polling station in 1834, after the passing of the 
Reform Bill. There are now (1882) in the town 414 persons holding a 
Parliamentary vote. In 1844 the number of voters was only 141. In 
the election of 1807, to which allusion has been made, thirty-one 
persons travelled to York for the purpose of recording their votes. 
They were — 

Atkinson Richard, mason M 

Alcock William, esquire W L 

Binns David, grocer M 

Buck John, tanner M 

Blackburn John, gentleman M 

Brown James, grocer W L 

Bradshaw Benjamin, innkeeper L 

Carr John, gentleman M 

Chamberlain W. , merchant W L 

Chamberlain George, ironmonger ... W L 

Ellison Jonas, butcher M 

Garforth Peter, esquire WM 

Garrs Isaac, grocer W L 

Grave William, ironmonger WL 

Haigh Jonathan, currier M 

Hare Jeffrey, innkeeper WM 

Hardaker Henry, gentleman W L 

Hardcastle Joseph, wool stapler ... W L 

Heelis John, gentleman M 

Holmes John, cotton manufacturer W L 

Hutton Benjamin, smrgeon W L 

Kendall John, innkeeper M 

Myers Thomas, blacksmith M 

Netherwood Christ., merchant M 

Robinson Robert, yeoman M 

Smith Richard, gentleman W L 

Smith Roger, currier M 

Sugden Benj., dissenting minister... M 
Spencer Thomas, timber merchant.. W L 

Topham William, servant WL 

Tindall Charles, gentleman M 

Seventeen votes were given for Viscount Milton, fifteen for William 
Wilberforce, and fourteen for the Hon. Henry Lascelles. The result of 
the election was as follows: — Wilberforce, 11,806; Milton, 11,177; 
Lascelles, 10,989. The poll extended over fifteen days. 



In the Yorkshire election of 1741, when the candidates were 
Cholmley Turner and George Fox, the Skipton voters were the 
following : — 

Bailey Stephen, for property at Skipton Fox 

Birtwhistle John, ,, Bolland Fox 

Blakeston Henry, „ Skipton Fox 

Brogden Ingram, „ Skipton Fox 

Braithwaite John, „ Sandham Fox 

Catterson Francis, ,, Skipton Fox 

Chippindale William, ,, Skipton Fox 

Chamberlain Thomas, „ Skipton Fox 

Chamberlain George, ,, Gargrave Fox 

Clough Edward, „ Skipton Turner 

Coats John, clerk „ Ake House Turner 

Coppindale Joseph, ,, Skipton Fox 

Currer Henry, ,, Skipton Fox 

Fothergill John, „ Ripon Fox 

Hanson John, „ Kirkby Malhamdale Fox 

Heelis John, „ Skipton Fox 

Hewan Thomas, „ Skipton Fox 

Hodgson William, ,, Skipton Fox 

Holder Joshua, ,, Skipton Fox 

Jennings Jonathan, ,, Skipton Fox 

Jewelson Robert, „ Skipton Fox 

Johnson Robert, „ Skipton Fox 

Kitching Thomas, ,, Skipton Fox 

Lambert Robert, ,, Skipton Fox 

Lister Martin, gentleman, „ Balmer Fox 

Lonsdale Francis, ,, Skipton Turner 

Lonsdale William, „ Eastby Fox 

Manks Thomas, „ Skipton Fox 

Morris Thos., parish clerk, ,, Skipton Fox 

Morley James, ,, Ilkley Fox 

Moorhouse Edward, ,, Skipton Fox 

Myers William, „ Skipton Fox 

Percival Stephen „ Kildwick Fox 

Sharp George, ,, Skipton Turner 

Smith Thomas, ,, Skipton Fox 

Smith Thomas, ,, Keighley Fox 

Stead John, ,, Thorner Fox 

Swire John, „ Skipton Fox 

Toulson George, „ Skipton Fox 

Watson Christopher ,, Skipton Fox 

Wash William, „ Settle Fox 

Watkinson Thomas, ,, Giggleswick Fox 

Wellock Robert, ,, Skipton Fox 

Wilkinson Matthew, „ Skipton Fox 

Wilkinson John, „ Skipton Fox 

Wilkinson Caleb, „ Carleton Fox 


The following outliving freeholders voted : — 

Atkinson John, of Sawley, for property at Skipton Fox 

Baldwin John, gent., Halifax, ,, Skipton Fox 

Beeton William, Bolton Abbey, 
Cook John, Leeds, 
Halas, Edward, Skybden, 
Lupton WUliam, Masham, 
Skirrow John, Otley, 
Tatterson Silvester, Addingham, 

Skipton Fox 

Skipton Fox 

Skipton Fox 

Skipton Turner 

Skipton Fox 

Skipton Fox 

In addition to the foregoing, Samuel Duck, of Skipton, offered to vote 
for Mr. Turner, but was rejected. For Fox 42 Skipton freeholders 
voted, and four for Turner. Of outliving freeholders seven voted for 
Fox, and one for Turner. In an old Skipton township book occurs an 
entry relating to this election: — "1745, July 25. — P'd to ringers one 
shilling when Squire Fox was elected member for York, Is." 

The following are the heights of different places in Skipton above the 
level of the sea : — Bailey Cottage, besides Showfield gate (Storums), 
470 feet; Convent, 410 feet; Workhouse, 400 feet; Vicarage, 420 
feet ; Canal, 345 feet ; Skipton (old town), 380 feet. 

A brief glance may be taken at the periodical literature of Skipton. 
The first periodical published in this town was the Skipton Advertiser, 
which was begun by the late Mr. John Garnett, in December, 1852. 
A similar venture, the Craven Herald, was begun one month later ; it 
continued to be published by Messrs. John Tasker and Son until 1857, 
when it was discontinued. In August, 1854, the Temperance Society 
began the publication of the Home Visitor, and it was continued as a 
monthly tract-journal until January, 1856. In the April following it 
was incorporated with the Advertiser, under the title of Home Visitor 
and Skipton Advertiser. In April, 1858, the Visitor was succeeded by 
the Skiptoji Pioneer, which the following September took the title 
Craven Pioneer ; it was published by Mr. J. Dawson, who continues its 
editor and proprietor. It was conducted as a monthly illustrated 
magazine for a year, when it assumed the newspaper form, appearing 
fortnightly. In 1860 the Pioneer became a weekly newspaper — the first 
weekly paper in Craven — and it continues to be published as such at 
the present time, but its size has been doubled. The Skipton 
Reporter ran a short career — from February, 1858, to September, 1860. 
It was published fortnightly by the late Mr. J. P. Brown. In 1868 a 
Keighley paper, the Chronicle, was localised for Skipton, but it did not 
meet with success. The Craven Herald newspaper was originated by a 
limited liability company in 1874. 


The history of the water supply of Skipton is interesting. The 
following entry in the proceedings of the Court Leet shows the care our 
forefathers took to keep unpolluted the streams flowing through the 
town : — 

" April 24th, 1745. — We the jurymen do say and present that there now is, and 
for the time whereof the memory of man is not to the contrary had been, a certain 
rivulet or water running from a bridge called the Schoolhouse Bridge down the back 
of a certain street called the New Market, within the township of Skipton, and 
jurisdiction of this court, to a certain water called the Bentley Bridge water, and that 
Abraham Dixon and his servants on the 1st day of December last past cast and threw 
into the said rivulet a large quantity of soapsudds and other noysome and unwhole- 
some waters and other offals, to the great noyance of the said water and all the people 
of our sovereigne Lord the King. Therefore, we the jury do amerce the said Abraham 
Dixon the sum of 39s. lie?, for every offence in the like kind to be committed and done 
after the 24th day of this instant April." 

An old constables' book contains references to the mode of supply : — 

Oct. 18. — To repairing of John Ranson's guinnil, the town's road for water, 
13s. 2d. 

Jan. 27. — Ale for drinkings when sough was opened, M. 

Sept. 17. — Paid Oldfield for cleaning the ginill. Is. (i\d. 

Nov. 12. — Edw. Moorhouse for leading stones to Newmarket Sough, 2s. 3d. 
Dec. 22.— To Edw. Moorhouse for work at the Newmarket Sough, 12s. 

Sept. 12.— For repairing the " sow " down the meeting house road, 3s. 

Up to the year 1818 the town was supplied from a small reservoir 
close to the Baths. It only contained a few thousand gallons of water, 
and from it a line of wooden pipes, made out of trees bored with a large 
auger, brought the water to the town. Eventually these pipes became 
so decayed that they were abandoned, and the town was then supplied 
by water-carriers. In 1823 a meeting of inhabitants was held, and it 
was resolved to purchase the old works. A new Waterworks Company 
was formed, and they decided to go to Parliament for powei-s to 
construct a new reservoir and lay down iron main pipes. The following 
composed the first committee : — Messrs. Eobinson Chippendale, banker, 
chairman ; Christopher Netherwood, Thomas Bramley, John Robinson, 
John A. Dixon, William Lister, William Chippendale, Henry Alcock, 
Richard Smith, and John Carr, senior. This committee appointed an 
engineer, who set out the works which form the present old reservoir. 
In time this became insufficient, and in 1854 another small reservoir 
was made in a place called Jenny Gill, from Mr. A. Nicolson's plans. 


This addition was not sufl&ciently large and did not yield the amount of 
good expected from it, and in 1858 the question of water supply came 
to the front again. An additional reservoir was the outcome 
of the agitation. In 1873 the Skipton Local Board purchased the 
works, and a new reservoir was constructed from plans prepared by 
Mr. J. Varley. The Skipton waterworks are said to have cost alto- 
gether about .£30,000. 

Skipton has suffered severely upon several occasions within the last 
century-and-a-half from storms, and floods, and shocks of earthquake. 
In 1714 an unusually severe gale occurred. The following entries in an 
account-book of the Earl of Thanet's steward at that time prove its 
severity : — 

Paid Thomas Atkinson for 12 load of lime used in rebuilding the chimney in the 

castle that was so shaken with the wind in ffeby that it was forced to be 

taken down, 9s. 
Paid William Topham for slate and Bowcock for slateing the tolbooth after the 

same was blown down by the great winde in ffeb., 17s. lOc^. 

On June 18th, 1753, an earthquake shock was felt in the town and 
neighbourhood. It is recorded that its duration was about three 
seconds, " and its effect upon those within doors like the violent passing 
of heavy carriages through the streets, which made everything shake in 
the houses, the floors to heave, and some planks, &c., to fall down. 
Those in bed felt the beds vibrate very quickly, and the walls and 
windows rattled as if shaken to pieces. It was succeeded by a rushing 
noise and explosion, like gunpowder fired in the open air. It was very 
calm — a red sky intermixed with black clouds." 

On June 27th, 1763, there was at Skipton ''the greatest fall of rain 
that had been known here." One bridge was entirely washed down, and 
another partially so. On July 21st, 1766, there was another disastrous 

In 1798-9 the winter was unusually severe, as the diary of a 
Skiptonian, now deceased, records : — 

" AprU 5, 1799. — After a very severe winter, in which the roads had been filled 
with snow at different times so as to be rendered impassable till cut open, a like snow 
fell this day, which filled all the roads in many places several yards deep." 

" May 24, 1799. — A part of the said snow stUl to be seen on Embsay Moor. Very 
few hawthorns yet broken into leaf." 

The shock of earthquake which passed over this country on October 
6th, 1863, was slightly felt at Skijiton. One inhabitant, writing to the 


paper, remarks that he heard at the time " a very singular noise, as of a 
'mighty rushing wind,' if it could be likened to anything." The 
jingling of crockery was heard in many houses. Immediately after the 
shock a dense mist overspread the town and neighbourhood. 

On September 26th, 1864, at midnight, another shock of earthquake 
was felt in Skipton. Many were awakened from their sleep by the 
rumbling sound. The sound was likened by some to thunder, by others 
to the rattling of a conveyance, and by others to the din of machinery. 
Not a little fear was occasioned in the town. In some houses furniture 
was shaken about and overturned. 

In November, 1866, the town suffered from the greatest flood that had 
been known in Craven for very many years. The canal overflowed its 
banks, and much damage to property was caused. Poorhouse-bridge was 
greatly damaged, and the bridge over the Aire near Carleton was 

And here it will not be out of place to record the "remarkable 
phenomenon" which was witnessed at Skipton on July 18th, 1798, and 
is thus described in the Gentleman^ s Magazine of that year : — " At half- 
past two o'clock p.m. a most remarkable phenomenon presented itself in 
the heavens to the north-east of Skipton-in-Craven, which was visible 
for more than ten miles round, and struck the inhabitants with surprise 
and consternation. From the centre of a cloud awfully dark appeared 
to issue a smoke perpendicularly upwards, similar to that usually 
preceding a volcanic eruption. This eruption ceased in a few minutes, 
when from its base were immediately projected two dusky conical 
clouds, which uniting, darted at intervals, with considerable velocity, to 
the surface of the earth. After rolling its long train, like the volumes 
of a serpent, it suddenly burst asunder. The lower extremity of it 
coiled into many circles, and the upper part of it was instantly absorbed 
into the cloud. After having been observed for the space of nearly 
half-an-hour, the whole disappeared. This curious phenomenon was a 
few hours afterwards succeeded by a heavy rain, accompanied with 
thunder and lightning." 

A record of notable instances of longevity which have occurred in the 
town and the immediate neighbourhood may fitly be introduced. The 
first Skipton centenarian I have come across lived nearly four centuries 
ago. On October 26th, 1504, William Ratcliff'e, 100 years of age, 
Nicholas Whitfield, aged 98, and John Thorn, aged 80, testified " for 
verrey trawthe" that Sir Thomas Clifford "marycd Elizabeth his 
doghter unto Kob'te Plumpton, the eldest son and heyrc of Sir William 


Plumpton," in the chapel of Skipton Castle. No fewer than eleven 
centenarians have died in Skipton. The following are burial entries in 
the Skipton parish registers : — 

February 5.— "Agnes Kitching, late wife to Gabriell Kitching, of Skipton, 
deceased, was bur. in the church, aged about 102." 

December 29. — " Leonard Smith, of Halton, and William Moorehouse, of 
Eastby, aged 102." 
April 7.— "Matthew Jackman, of Emsaye, aged an 100." 

February 8.— "Widdow Alliuson, of Thorleby, being an hundred and eleven 
yeares old and upwards." 

In Cox's " Magna Britannia," and in several other works, the age of 
"Widdow Allinson " is given as 108; but this is an error. She is 
said to have spun a web of linen cloth a year or two before her death. 

September 21.—" Uxor Hargreaves, of Emsay, aged an hundred and upwards," 
November 23.—" Thomas Bowcocke, of Skipton, a very old man." 

February 1.—" John Gunson, of Skipton, a very old man." 

January 26.— "Robert Mountgummery, a Scotchman, who lived many years in 

Skipton, aged six score and six ut dicunt." 

The last two words, '-'as they say," which are itahcised, are very 
important ; for they throw a shade of doubtfulness upon the question of 
• Montgomery's age. Wherever the age of this man is referred to (except 
in Whitaker) it is in perfectly unqualified terms. To a very great age 
he must have lived, for it is recorded that the oldest inhabitant of 
Skipton never knew him as other than an old man. His wife was Jane, 
who died June, 1650, twenty-two years before his own death. His family 
had not done increasing until 1639 (his 94th year, if we believe tradition !) 
The following are the children of whose baptism there is a record in the 
register :— Fabian, March 31, 1631 ; Hugh, May 1, 1633 ; William, 
July 17, 1635; and Ann, January 9, 1639. During his later years 
Montgomery lived by begging from door to door, and in public places, a 
" caUing " which he continued until within a year of his death. 

January 26.— "Ann Swire, widdow, of Skipton, aged neare a hundered; a very 

good woman." 

November 4.—" Frances Fish, \viddow, a verie old woman, of Halton Intaks." 

May 22.—" Joshua Watson, of Skipton, lab., 102 years old." 


March 25. — " Thomas Haworth, labourer, of Skipton, aged 100 years." 

June 28.—" Martha Johnston, of Skipton, 100." 

December 25. — "Elizabeth Myers, of Skipton, in her 100th year." 

Other centenarians are : — 

1812. — Clara Stirk, of Skipton, aged 100 years. 

1825. — Ann Paul, widow, of Skipton, aged 100 years. 

1862.— Molly Walker, of Skipton, aged 102 years. 

1867.— Michael Bell, of Skipton, died November 5th, in his 100th year. 

1869. — Elizabeth Stockdale, of Skipton, died December 10th, in her 100th year." 

During the last three months of the last-named year there died within 
the Skipton registration district sixteen persons whose imited ages 
amounted to 1260 years, or an average of nearly 80 years. The average 
of seven of them — six curiously enough women — was above eighty. In 
1864 twelve inmates of the Skipton Workhouse, all in good health, 
were aged as follows :— 91, 89, 85, 85, 81, 79, 78, 76, 76, 75, 73, 72— a 
total of 960 years, and an average of eighty. 

Defoe, in his " Tour through Great Britain," remarks in his reference 
to Skipton : — " This is an healthy Country, and the Inhabitants live to 
a. great Age ; a Father and Son giving Evidence at the Assizes at York, 
it appeared the first was 140, and the Son 100 years old." It is an 
error, however, to suppose that these centenarians were inhabitants of 
Skipton, although they are mentioned in connection with this town. 
They belonged to Dent. An old record relating to that place runs : — 
" The inhabitants seem to enjoy the gift of longevity, as in 1664, two 
persons, a father and son, were subpoenaed in a case tried at York, the 
former being in the 140th and the latter in the 100th year of his age." 

It remains now to refer to the governing bodies of the town, and the 
chief pubHc institutions and buildings. The Local Board was formed 
in 1858, in consequence of a petition sent in December, 1856, by 120 
ratepayers of Skipton to the General Board in London. On the passing 
of the Act ordering the establishment of a Board and the setting out of 
a district, thirty persons were nominated for membership, and out of 
these nine were chosen. Three additional members were added to the 
Board in 1874. The meetings were at first held monthly, now 
fortnightly. The first chairman of the Board was Mr. Henry Alcock, 
who died in 1869, and the succeeding chairmen have been Mr. 
Christopher Sidgwick, who died in 1877, and Mr. R. H. Sidgwick, who 
was elected to the position in 1871, and who now (1882) occupies it. 



The SUpton Burial Board was established in 1873. It is represen- 
tative of all the chief religious bodies of the town. One of the 
Board's first acts was the preparation of a scheme for a new cemetery. 
The Waltonwrays site was approved by a meeting of ratepayers held 
July, 1873, and the construction of the cemetery, after the designs of 
Mr. J. Varley, C.E., was begun forthwith. The cost was about £7,500. 

The Board of Guardians has been in existence since 1837. The first 
meeting was held on the 17th January of that year. The first 
chairman was the late Mr. M. Wilson, father of the present chairman. 
Sir Mathew Wilson, Bart., M.P. for the Northern Division of the West 
Biding. The townships represented are — Addingham, Appletreewick, 
Banknewton, Barden, Barnoldswick, Beamsley-in-Addingham, Beamsley- 
in-Skipton, Boardley, Bolton Abbey, Bracewell, Bradleys Both, 
Brockden, Broughton, Buckden, Burnsall, Calton, Carleton, Coates, 
Coniston Cold, Conistone-with-Kilnsey, Cononley, Cowling, Cracoe, 
Draughton, Elslack, Embsay-with-Eastby, Eshton, Farnhill, Flasby- 
with-Winterburn, Gargrave, Glusburn, Grassington, Halton East, 
Hartlington, Hazlewood-with-Storiths, Hebden, Hetton, Kettlewell-with- 
Starbottou, Kildwick, Linton, Martens Both, Eilstone, Salterforth, 
Silsden, Skipton, Stirton-with-Thorlby, Thornton, Thorpe, and 

The Rural Sanitary Authority was constituted in 1872, the first 
meeting being held on the 21st September. It has jurisdiction over all 
townships included in the Skipton Union with the exception of Skipton 
and Silsden. 

The East Staincliffe Highway Board has jurisdiction over the town- 
ships in the petty sessional division of East Staincliffe. The Board was 
formed in 1864. , , 

The County Court was established in 1847. The substantial building 
in which the business of the court is carried on stands at the head of 
Back (now Court) Lane. Mr. Charles Heneage Elsley was the first 
judge, and the first sitting took place on March 18th, 1847, when the 
ofiicers of the court were appointed. On the 15th of April following the 
first court for the transaction of public business was held. In February, 
1854, Mr. Edward Cooke, formerly a Commissioner of the Insolvent 
Debtors' Court, became judge ; and in March, 1855, Mr. James John 
Lonsdale succeeded him. Mr. William Thomas Shave Daniel, Q.C., is 
the present judge. He was appointed by Lord Chancellor Chelmsford 
on March 21st, 1867. 


The Petty Sessions are held in the Town Hall weekly. It has been 
stated before that Skipton was one of the towns in which the West 
Riding Quarter Sessions were held. Up to 1862 the building used for 
this purpose was that now serving as a Mechanics' Institute. In 1863, 
the new Town Hall was used, but that was the last occasion of the 
holding of the West Riding Sessions at Skipton. The hall has since 
been used for the local petty sessional com-t. The Bench is at present 
composed of sixteen members. 

The Mechanics' Institute was established in 1845. The premises first 
occupied were situated in the Hole-in-the-Wall Yard, the next were at 
the top of Chancery-lane, and the second removal was to Sheep-street 
Hill (1854). In 1862 the Institute was removed to the present premises, 
the Old Town Hall. The first literary gathering of the institution was 
held in 1849, in the banqueting-hall at the castle, and was of a most 
interesting nature. 

There are two principal Banhs in Skipton— the Craven and the York- 
shire. The former is of very old standing. It was established in 1791, 
with offices at Skipton and Settle. Later, the Skipton Bank (whose 
founders were Messrs. Chippendale, Netherwood, and Carr) was 
incorporated. The Craven Bank has now offices at Skipton (the chief 
office). Settle, Keighley, Bradford, Ilkley, Otley, Burnley, Clitheroe, and 
Colne, as well as several sub-branches. Its premises in High-street were 
several years ago rebuilt, and they now form a pleasing contrast to the 
old and low-built property which still abounds in the main street. The 
building occupied by the Yorkshire Banking Company is at the north 
end of the same street. A branch of the Yorkshire Penny Bank has 
been conducted in Skipton since 1873 in connection with the Mechanics' 
Institute. There is also a savings bank in connection with the post-office. 
Mr. S. B. Hall, who died in 1866, was manager forty-eight years of what 
was known as the Skipton Savings Bank. This bank ceased to exist 
at his death. 

Of public buildings there are few in Skipton of importance. The 
churches and chapels are referred to elsewhere. The Union Workhouse 
was built in 1839-1840, at a cost of £6,000, and a few years ago hand- 
some Board-offices were erected at considerable expense. The older 
" poor-house " stood on the site of Messrs. Dewhurst's dye-house. The 
Toivn Hall was formally opened in November, 1862, having been erected 
by the Skipton Public Buildings Company, on the site of the old 
vicarage. In 1878 the hall was altered, and its height increased. The 
interior decoration is veiy tasteful. The Temperance Hall in Middle- 


town was opened on Whit-Monday, 1873, by Mr. Chas. Thompson, of 
Manchester, and Mr. C. S. Eoundell (now M.P.), of London. Lady 
Frederick Cavendish laid the foundation-stone in the company of 
the late Lord Frederick Cavendish, and in the presence of a large 
assemblage of people on Whit-Monday of the previous year. The cost 
was £1.700. The Grammar School in Gargrave-road is a handsome 
building, compared with which the good old echoolroom in Newmarket- 
street makes in point of architecture a very poor figure. The new 
school has, with gymnasium and swimming bath, cost nearly £13,000. 
It was opened in the spring of 1877. The elementary schools of Skipton 
are five in number — the Parish Church, Christ Church, British, 
Wesleyan, and Roman Catholic schools. In these schools is accommo- 
dation for more than 1,800 children, while there are from 1,600 to 1,700 
children in attendance. In 1853 a return showed the number then in 
attendance as 542. The Parish Church Schools, in Otley-street, were 
erected in 1874 at a cost of £3,550. They will accommodate 632 
children. The first National School for boys was built in 1812, while 
the Rev. J. Pering was vicar. The land upon w^hich it was built was 
given by the Earl of Thanet. In 1816 a school for girls was built near 
to the boys' school, and again the Earl of Thanet was successfully 
applied to for a free site. The usefulness of these schools was at first 
greatly limited by their exclusiveness. No child could be admitted 
unless its parents or guardians promised that it should be " strictly 
prohibited from being taught in any school on Sundays where the 
National system is not followed." The British School was opened in 
1844, and the present building was erected in 1845-6. Mr. John 
Dewhurst was the founder, and until his death a very liberal 
supporter of it. The Wesleyan Day School was opened about the 
same time as the British. The originator of Christ Church School was 
the late Mr, C. Sidgwick, who previous to its establishment taught 
boys gratuitously at his own residence or at the High MiU. 



JT would be improper to leave unmentioned the folk-lore of 
Skipton and the locality ; though it must be premised that 
for obvious reasons this account has not been written so as 
to include the whole of Craven. Within the last fifty 
years a striking change has come over the social life of Craven. The 
superstition which held deep root here for ages has now well-nigh 
disappeared. Primitive manners have in great measure given way to 
modern example. But a really ohjectionahle phase of this social revolu- 
tion is that we have lost for ever very many of those simple, innocent 
customs which have always been found incidental to rural life ; and a 
fact still more to be deplored is that in their stead has been introduced 
a foretaste of the " fast " life of towns. Nevertheless, it is matter for 
extreme thankfulness that there — 

" Still linger in our northern clime 
Some remnants of the good old time." 


New Year's Eve and Day. — Christmas and New Year's Day are days 
above all othei-s devoted to festivity : — 

•' Each age has deem'd the new-born year 
Fit time for festival and cheer." 

The custom of carol-singing on New Year's-eve and the evenings inter- 


veiling between it and Christmas-day still continues amongst children. 
The " mummers " also perpetuate an old observance on New Year's-eve. 
"Bringing-in the New Year" is a custom of importance. The first 
visitor must by no means be a woman or a person with red hair. A 
household so visited will, it is thought, be sure to meet with ill-luck 
during the coming year. On the contrary, it is considered a very 
fortunate sign if the first visitor be a person with black hair. The 
custom of " bringing-in " the New Year is performed immediately upon 
the turn of twelve o'clock midnight. The one upon whom rests the 
duty must not go empty-handed, but should bear two articles — one in 
either hand. Generally a piece of coal and a piece of loaf or holly are 
carried. Not far from Skipton a family some fifty years ago removed at 
once from their house because the first person who entered it on New 
Year's-day was a red-haired maiden. 

St. Valentine's Day (February IL) — The custom of St. Valentine's- 
day has sadly degenerated. In earlier times it was usual for young folk 
— the same number of either sex — to assemble together, and writing 
upon pieces of paper the names of an equal number of maids and 
bachelors, to draw lots, care being of course taken that every person 
drew one of the opposite sex. Oftentimes these imaginary engagements 
led to real ones. There was a tradition that upon St. Valentine's- day 
birds choose their mates. Thus Shakespere : — 

. . . . " St. Valentine is past : 
Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?" 

In the accounts of the Clifford family, of Skipton, we have an instance 
of the old custom incidental to this day. There is the entry of the 
following payment : — 

" Paid for a pair of carnation silk stockings, and a pair of ash-coloured taffata 
garters, and roses edged with silver lace, given by nay lord to Mrs. Douglas Sheffield, 
for drawing my lord for her valentine, Zl. 10s." 

A costly piece of gallantry ! This custom has degenerated into the 
exchange of coloured prints, inscribed with verses generally less sensible 
than amorous. 

Collop Monday. — Nothing beyond the name is now left to tell us what 
practice was associated with this day, for eggs and coUops are no longer 

Shrove Tuesday. — From the well-known custom of Shrove (Shrive, to 


confess) Tuesday, this day is known hereabouts as " Pancake Tuesday." 
In an old author we read that on this day — 

" Every man and maide doe take their turne, 
And tosse their pancakes up for feare they burne ; 
And all the kitchen doth with laughter sound, 
To see the pancakes fall upon the ground." 

The work of pancake-making is now delegated to the housewife or her 
assistant, and no longer " men and maids take their turn " at tossing. 
This is a day to which children look forward with no small delight. 
Formerly Shrove Tuesday was a holiday for the apprentices of 
Skipton, as it is now for the elementary schools, and early in the present 
century cock-fighting and football were sports inseparable from the day. 

Ash Wednesday. — This day is known in Craven as " Fritter Wednes- 
day." Fritters, small currant-pancakes, are eaten upon this day. 

Palm Sunday. — It is so called " because, as the Ritualists say, on 
that day the boughs of palm-trees used to be carried in procession in 
imitation of those which the Jews strewed in the way of Christ when he 
went up to Jerusalem." Up to the last few years it was very common 
in Skipton for twigs of palm to be carried in the coat upon this day, 
and even now small branches are procured, as flowers are gathered, for 
the house. 

All Fools Day (April 1st J. — The old custom of All Fools-day is yet, 
and is long likely to be, observed. In the jokes which people pass upon 
each other, the one who is imposed upon is termed by his deceiver an 
" April gowk " or an " April noddy." Formerly it was a common 
practice for a person to be sent with a letter apparently upon a specific 
errand. Inside the billet were the words : — 

" On the 1st of April 
Hunt the gowk another mile," 

which reading, the one receiving it despatched the bearer still farther. 
If after twelve at noon a person tries to make anyone into a " Fool,"- 
the retort is : — 

" April noddy's past and gone, 
You're a fool and I'm none." 

It need hardly be said that the custom is chiefly observed among 
youths. There is not much wisdom it it. As an old rhymer says : — 

" 'Tis a thing to be disputed 
Which is the greatest /ooZ reputed." 


Good-Friday. — It is upon this day that " Hot-cross buns " are eaten. 

Easter. — It will doubtless be long before Easter or Paste (Pasche) 
eggs are known no longer among children. 

St. Mark^s Day (April 25tk). — A custom of a very superstitious 
nature was once observed on St. Mark's Eve. The common people 
would watch in the church porch from shortly before midnight until 
nigh upon one, in the belief that there would appear in the church- 
yard the spirits of those who were to die during the coming year. This 
was the belief in some villages of Craven, but in others it was thought 
that the watchers would see the shades of those they were to marry. 
Many old people of Skipton well remember taking part in this 

May-day. — As I am not aware of the existence at any time of a 
May-pole in Skipton, though there may have been one before the time 
of the Commonwealth, it would almost be out of place to enter into a 
description of the many rustic customs incidental to the First of May. 
We have still a custom similar to that of All Fools-day. Where in the 
one case the " fools " are called April '' noddies," in the other they are 
called May "geslings," ok "goslings." A pretty service was once 
performed on this day by the scholars of the Grammar School. They 
gathered flowers and spread them on the steps of the master's house 
and of the schoolroom. The master in return scattered coins among the 
lads. This is a custom of fifty years ago. 

Royal Oak Bay (May IWi). — The anniversary of the Eestoration, 
1660, is observed by the carrying about of sprigs of oak, for it was by 
hiding in an oak that Charles II. escaped with his life after the battle of 
Worcester. Horses are also gaily decked with oak leaves and twigs 
upon this day. Up to fifty years ago the bells of Skipton church were 
rung merrily upon Royal Oak-day, and in some Craven villages boughs 
of oak were fastened to the pinnacles of the steeples. Whitaker, in his 
Graven, observes that a short time before the date of his work there 
stood in the bailey opposite Skipton Castle a majestic oak, which, 
according to tradition, had grown from an acorn of the famous oak tree 
of Boscobel. He surmises that it was planted by Lady Anne Pembroke 
as a memorial of the loyalty of her family. There is an inn at Skipton 
called by the sign of the "Royal Oak." — Upon this day also was 
observed the practice of strewing flowers at the Grammar School 
alluded to above. 


aS'^. Swithin's Bay (July 15th J. — Connected with St, Swithin's-day is 
a quatrain of by no means local currency : — 

" St. Swithin's Day, if thou dost rain, 
For forty days it will remain ; 
St. Swithin's Day, if thou be fair. 
For forty days t'will rain na mair." 

Gunpowder Plot Bay (November 5thJ. — The observance of this day is 
amongst the most popular of the year. One or two old features of the 
observance are now, however, lacking. Up to fifty years ago Gun- 
powder Plot-day was one of the several great days of the year upon 
which the bells of Skipton church were kept ringing, at the expense of 
the parish. In 1744, upon revision of the rates of payment to the 
ringers, the churchwardens resolved that they should have in future 
"five shillings and no more for ringing upon extraordinary days, 
except the 5th of November, for which they are to have seven 
shillings." The oringing appears to have been continued until late in 
the evening : — 

1749.— Candles on Gunpowder Treason, 6d. 

Huge boughs of oak were carried to the top of the steeple and attached 
to the pinnacle and the weather-vane. In addition to the display of 
fireworks incidental to the night of November 5 th, bonfires are burnt- 
Many will be interested to know that not only were these fires burnt a 
hundred and forty years ago at Skipton on this occasion, but at that 
time they were provided at the cost of the town. Thvis the accounts of 
an old Skipton constable show the following payment — 

1741. — Nov. 1. — Pd for three tar barrels for the bone fire, Is. M. 

In 1872 the evening of this day was the occasion of a riot in Skipton. 
The resident superintendent of police had the year before shown marked 
signs of his disapproval of the customary celebration, and in 1872 he 
provided himself with a large body of police for the purpose of crushing, 
as he thought, once for all the unruly proceedings. This veiy fact 
caused the rough element of the population to rebel. Despite the 
presence of the police, the main street of the town was a busier scene 
than before, and the time-honoured custom of discharging fireworks and 
firearms was observed with increased enthusiasm. As the night grew the 
immense concourse of people assembled in the street became so provoked 
by the repeated attacks of the constables that a serious riot occurred. 
The police charged the opposing crowd without discrimination, and in 
return they were roughly handled. To add to the confusion bands 


paraded the streets, and by midniglit the town was in a furore of 

excitement. While a large number of the civilians were injured by the 

truncheons of the police, many of the police themselves were very badly 

hurt by stones and sticks. The superintendent fared as badly as any 

one. In anticipation of a renewal of the disturbance, the following 

night nearly a hundred constables were on duty, but fortunately their 

services were not needed. As has been said, the observance of 

November 5th is still kept up with spirit. A schoolboys' saying is 

that — 

" Gunpowder Plot shall never be forgot 
As long as Skipton Castle stands on a rock." 

Christmas Tide. — Gradually but very surely the ancient customs inci- 
dental to this season are dying out. The time-honoured practice of carol- 
singing still holds place, but it has lost much of its pristine fame. Old 
inhabitants of Skipton will call to mind how in long past years youthful 
singers bore about with them from door to door images of the Holy 
Infant, along with branches of holly. These are now disused. Some 
of the carols sung at this time are of very old date. The following two 
may frequently be heard : — 

" Here we come a-wassailing 
Among the leaves so green ; 
Here we come a-wandering 
So fair to be seen. 

Chorus :— Unto you, young wassailers, 
Joy unto you ! 

May God bless you and send you 
A happy new year ! 

We are not daily beggars, 
That beg from door to door, 
But we are neighbours' children. 
Whom you have seen before. — Chorus, 

Call up the butler of this house ; 
Put on his golden ring ; 
Let him bring us a glass of beer, 
And the better we shall sing.— CAorus. 

We have got a little purse. 
Made of stretching skin, 
We want a little of your money 
To line it well within.— CAor^s. 

Bring us out a table, 

And spread it with a cloth. 

Bring us out a mouldy cheese. 

And some good Christmas loaf ! — Chorus. 


God bless the master of this house, 
God bless the mistress too ; 
And all the little children 
That round the table go ! — Chorus. 

Good master and mistress, 

While you're sitting by your fire, 

Pray think of us poor children, 

Who are wandering in the mire," — Chorus. 

Anotlier incomplete carol is : — 

'• As I passed by my father's house — 

Christmas-day in the morning ! 
I saw two ships come sailing by — 

Christmas-day in the morning ! 
I asked them what they'd got there — 

Christmas-day in the morning ! 
All the angels in heaven shall sing — 

Christmas-day in the morning ! 
All the trumpets in heaven shall sound — 

Christmas-day in the morning ! 
All the bells in heaven shall ring — 

Christmas-day in the morning ! " 

A well-known quatrain is : — 

*' I wish you a merry Christmas, 
And a happy New Year — 
A pocketful of money. 
And a barrelful of beer," 

The ' Waits ' appear to have ceased their nightly wanderings in Skipton, 
but a few years ago their good wishes might frequently be heard at 
Christmas-time, accompanied by the music of harp or violin. Yule-logs 
are still to be found ablaze in many hearths upon Christmas-eve ; but 
we have not now the superstition which bade a good housewife save a 
piece of the old log wherewith to kindle the new, and to allow no fire to 
go out of the house between old and new Christmas-day. 


A STANZA popular here as everywhere has relation to the day of 
birth : — 

" Monday's child is fair of face, 
Tuesday's child is' full of grace, 
Wednesday's child is full of woo, 
Thursday's child has far to go ; 


Friday's child is loving and giving, 
Saturday's child works hard for his living : 
But the child that is born on the Sabbath-day 
Is blithe and bonny, good and gay." 

We have in Whitaker's Craven an illustration of the obsolete custom of 
having a feast at the Churching. In a cause depending before the 
President and Council of the Court at York, from 32 Henry VIII. to 2 
Elizabeth, in which the Nortons of Rilstone contested the right of the 
Cliffords to hunt within that township, on the plea that it was not 
within the manor of Skipton, the evidence of Thomas Roberts, of 
Embsay, contained an allusion in the following words : — " At one time 
master John Norton gate leave of my lord [Clifford] for a morsel of 
flesh for his wife's churching^ and the said Garth hunted and killed a 
grete fatt stagg : and so one half thereof went to Berden, and master 
Norton had the other half, and Garth had the shulders and the ombles." 
The Compotus of Thomas Lord Clifford (1437) furnishes another 
instance. Of Christening customs we have yet that of bestowing gifts 
upon the infant. 

A few Wedding customs still linger amongst us. So numerous were 
the observances upon this important custom in Craven at one time 
that only a few of the more general can be mentioned. Saying the 
Nominy was a privilege of school-children. Upon the conclusion of the 
wedding service, the newly-married pair were met at the church doors, 
where they were compelled to listen to a verse of congratulation, which, 
of course, it was expected they would acknowledge with a gift of money. 
The following was the epithalamium said at Skipton : — 

" God prosper long your nuptials with much peace, 
And mutual love betwixt you still increase j 
If happy minds and pious hearts unite, 
Your present love wiU future times delight. 
Christ pour upon you things that needful be, 
And crown your nuptials with felicity ! 
We wish you as much health, wealth, silver, gold, 
As apples in an orchard may be told. 
We wish that you may never disagree 
Till wolves and lambs do join in unity !" 

The version differed in nearly every place. Another was as follows : — 

" Most courteous bridegroom, and most lovely bride, 
We come as custom hath us tied ; 
Therefore to us pray something now afford, 
And we will sing your praise with one accord / " 


After the children had received a gift, the spokesman proceeded : — 

" Thanks to you, bridegroom, and most lovely bride ; 
May Heaven protect you and your steps well guide, 
Till worn with age you leave this earthly cell. 
And soar aloft, where endless pleasures dwell !" 

The last two stanzas were obtained from one whose years had already 
far exceeded the ordinary span of life. 

We still retain the custom of Throwing Rice and Slippers after a bride 
and bridegroom as they leave the house of the bride's father; it is 
indicative of good wishes. The children's cry when a wedding party 
passes them has relation to the custom : — 

" A wedding, a woo, 
A clog and a shoe." 

A custom very general in Craven villages fifty or sixty years ago may be 
mentioned here, viz., the Wedding Race. The marriage ceremony over, 
the men included in the bridal party, along with intimate male friends, 
started at a run from the church door in the direction of the bride's 
house. The one reaching it first received a parti-coloured ribbon at the 
hand of the bride. In some places the races were not confined to the 
male sex, and were also on horseback. Flinging the Stoching was a 
common rustic custom. After the bride and bridegroom had retired to 
rest upon the evening of the marriage day, the guests repaired to the 
bed-room, and while the bride and bridegroom sat up in bed each of 
them flung a stocking over the right shoulder, aiming it, the men at 
the face of the bride and the women at the face of the bridegroom. A 
straight aim denoted the early marriage of the thrower. 

We come now to customs at Funerals. With regret it must be said 
that our Craven funeral ceremonies are fast losing their beauty and 
simplicity. This is not a solitary instance in which one can look but 
with painfulness upon the innovations of modern arts and refinements. 
Than the rural burial in Craven of sixty or eighty years ago no sight 
could be more touching, none moi'e pleasing. There were not then the 
the trumpery goe-gaws, which are, alas ! deemed so indispensable now-a- 
days ; but which seem to throw around the solemn rite an air rather 
of hollow mockery and irreverence than of sori'ow and sanctity. The 
town-bred author of " Gleanings in Craven," a small work now out of 
print, speaks in words of admiration of a funeral he witnessed in these 
parts during his tour some fifty years ago. " I heard a funeral dirge 
swelling from a distance," says he, " and looking through a little window 


I could see a procession wending along a lane which made an angle with 
the principal street, and as it was not far I could distinctly hear the 
Psalmist's truthful words : — 

' But howsoever fresh and fair 
Its morning beauty shows, 
'Tis all cut down and withered quite 
Before the evening close.' 

The procession now passed the door, preceded by two children dressed 
in white, holding between them a chaplet of white flowers : — they were 
followed by six young women dressed alike in white, singing with much 
feeling the Nineteenth Psalm; — they were to relieve the six young 
women who followed them, holding the pieces of ribbon attached to the 
handles of the cofiin of their young friend, — there were no relatives 

following, for she was an orphan I followed the procession, 

remaining at some distance from the grave, which was situated under 
the only tree in the churchyard. The clergyman, an elderly gentleman, 
read the beautiful service very impressively, until his voice was drowned 
in the grief of his listeners, and it was only by the inclination of the 
heads of those by the grave side that I could tell all was concluded. At 
last came the heavy fall of earth — the signal to the living that they are 
left — and all parted to their several homes in silence and in sorrow." 
No more afiecting rites can, I think, be imagined than the psalm- 
chanting and the strewing of flowers which at one time were inseparable 
from a Craven funeral : — 

" Not with pomp or circumstantial 
Rites they bore his corse along ; 
But the way was bright with flowers, 
And the air was sweet with song." 

I am happy to give a recent instance of the observance of this grand 
old Craven ritual. It is the funeral of the wife of Archdeacon Boyd, of 
Arnclifie, which took place in December of 1880. I quote from the 
Craven Pioneer : — *' The funeral service was particularly touching and 
impressive, and all the arrangements as to the coffin and the grave 
were of the simplest and plainest character. According to the 
impressive old Craven custom a hymn was sung as the body was carried 
by the villagers from the vicarage to the church ; the 39th Psalm was 
chanted, and hymn 169 was sung most feelingly by the choir. At the 
graveside, before the blessing, the hymn ' Jesus lives ' was also sung with 
much sweetness. There was little of a funeral character in the whole 
service ; it was bright with hymns and chants, as the surroundings were 


with flowers, and taught all present that a Christian lay there in the 
faith of the resurrection to eternal life." 

Up to eighty years ago torchlight funerals were very common in 
Skipton. It was at that time an invariable custom to bury at midnight 
a woman who had died at the birth of her first child. Generally, too, 
the coflfin was carried under a white sheet, the corners of which were